Former Officer Faces Assault Charges for Shooting at Car That Followed Stepdaughter in Montgomery County Road Rage Case

A former police officer in Montgomery County allegedly shot a 15-year-old during what police are calling a road rage encounter.

Owen Farmer III allegedly shot the girl Saturday outside his home after the car she was a passenger in ran over his foot, police in Upper Gwynedd Township said Thursday. Farmer is charged with two counts of aggravated assault and other charges.

The incident allegedly began during an encounter between Farmer’s 20-year-old stepdaughter, driving a 2014 Ford Escape, on North Wales Road in Montgomeryville and the driver of a BMW X5, Upper Gwynedd police said in a criminal complaint obtained by NBC10.

On the night of the encounter, the stepdaughter told investigators she passed the BMW after its driver appeared to be turning off the roadway. The BMW driver allegedly then honked the horn and flashed the headlights, to which Farmer's stepdaughter responded giving the BMW driver the middle finger, the stepdaughter told police.

The BMW driver then allegedly chased Farmer's stepdaughter through North Wales Borough. While driving toward her home on Second Street in the West Point section of Upper Gwynedd, the woman called Farmer, told him she was being followed and said he needed to come outside with his gun, she told police.

As the 20-year-old pulled into the driveway, Farmer ran out toward the BMW in the street, asking the driver “what the f*@k?” the stepdaughter told police.

Farmer moved toward the back of the BMW, as the driver began to drive away, the stepdaughter told police. Farmer said “she ran over my foot,” according to the criminal complaint.

As the BMW driver fled the scene, Farmer fired three shots, striking the back of the car, police said.

When officers arrived just before 10 p.m., they found Farmer – hold his Glock model 23, .40 caliber pistol – seated outside the home, police said. Medics transported Farmer, 45, to Lansdale Hospital where doctors treated him for a broken foot.

The next day, detectives interviewed a woman who claimed to be the driver of the BMW. She told investigators that she was driving her husband and 15-year-old daughter toward their Lansdale home when a driver began tailgating her and then flipped her off. She told police she followed the car into a neighborhood, investigators said.

The driver said that as she began to drive away from the area, she saw a man holding a gun then heard the rear glass of her car shatter. She then drove her daughter to Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia since the girl complained of pain.

Doctors at Einstein treated the girl for a gunshot wound to her back, police said. The bullet went through the car window and through a headrest and a seat before striking the girl, police said.

Police interviewed Farmer Sunday and he told them he received a call from his stepdaughter that she was being followed so he grabbed his gun and went outside, the police complaint said. Farmer admitted to confronting the driver and firing three times at her vehicle.

NBC10's Randy Gyllenhaal reached Farmer's family and attorney for comment. Farmer's family confirmed that Farmer is a retired member of the Upper Gwynedd Township Police Department. According to his Linkedin profile, Farmer is also a former Pennsylvania Army National Guard sergeant. He served nine years (2001-2010) as a patrolman/traffic safety officer for the Upper Gwynedd Police Department.

A judge arraigned Farmer Tuesday on two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of simple assault and three counts of reckless endangerment and set bail at $50,000, court records said.

A search of online court records didn't list any charges for either driver involved in the alleged road rage incident. [[238427591, C]]

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