Christmas Day Road Rage: Stillwater Teen Got Punched for Tailgating, Charges Say

The Stillwater city attorney filed misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct charges against a 56-year-old Bayport man.

Stillwater Police Department. File photo
Stillwater Police Department. File photo
A motorist from Bayport became so upset at what he considered tailgating by a 16-year-old driver on Christmas Day that he got out of his truck and punched the teen in the ear, according to a Stillwater police report and criminal complaint. 

Police responded at about 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 25 after the teenager, a Stillwater resident, reported the alleged incident.

According to the police report and complaint filed by the city attorney, the alleged victim told police that Mark Matthew Bell, 56, of Bayport, got out of his pickup truck, which was pulling a bobcat, at Sherburne and Myrtle streets. Bell started a verbal altercation with the teenager, who was still seated in his vehicle, and then punched him through the driver's window. 

Bell denied throwing any punches. Police officers said they observed redness on the complainant's left ear. 

There were other people in the area shoveling, according to the police report. Some heard an argument but none witnessed the alleged assault. 

Bell faces one count each of fifth-degree assault and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors carrying maximum penalty of 90 day imprisonment and a $1,000 fine. 


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