BEL AIR, Md. - A race to nowhere on Interstate 95 as a pair of drivers jockeyed between lanes at a high rate of speed ended when Timothy Murphy of Edgemere called 911 from his vehicle near a convenience store on Mountain Road in Harford County.
"I wrote his tag number down and then, to top it off as I rolled the window down. I'm telling him to pull over. He pulls out a gun," Murphy told the 911 operator, "I don't know if it was blanks, and starts shooting the gun at my front tire."
Maryland State Police Spokesman Greg Shipley says troopers converged on the Joppa home of the alleged gunman where they found his GMC Yukon and a whole lot more, "Maryland State Police served a search warrant at his residence later that evening (and) recovered the weapon that we believe was used in this as well as more than three dozen other weapons that were in the home."
While the purported victim told police the incident began when he changed lanes and the other vehicle struck his SUV, the alleged gunman, 34-year old Nicholas Heider, tells a different story.
"He just came over on me... no turn signal or nothing and I went over on the shoulder to avoid the accident and I tried hitting the brakes," said Heider, "I hit the barrel. They had the orange barrels up on 95 by White Marsh, and I tried to go up and get his attention, 'Hey! You ran me off the road!"
The 911 caller, Murphy, claimed it was he who pursued what amounted to a hit and run driver.
"(He) hits my car trying to get back over. I pulled up next to him two or three times and told him to pull over so I could get his information," he explained to the 911 dispatcher.
But as the situation escalated, Heider says he attempted to back off and the so-called victim wasn't having any of it.
"I said, 'I'm sorry.' He's like, 'I don't want to hear that. I'm going to beat you up and this and that,' and I just wanted to get away from him," said Heider, "I should have been a bigger person, but then he should have been too, and we should have just backed off and went our separate ways."
Heider posted bond Thursday, but faces a series of charges including assault, reckless endangerment and using a firearm in the commission of a violent crime.
He claims he only fired warning shots at the ground in self-defense fearing for his life.