A 19-year-old man is accused of pointing a BB gun at a couple, explaining that the husband had been tailgating him on a southern Dakota County highway, according to a criminal complaint.

Matthew O. Hoey, of Randolph, was charged Tuesday with terroristic threats, a gross misdemeanor, in connection with the altercation Sunday on Hwy. 52, southeast of Hampton.

According to the complaint:

A man who was driving with his wife said a pickup truck with four occupants pulled along side his car. He said that the pickup driver made an obscene hand gesture and pointed a handgun at him.

Sheriff's deputies went to where the pickup truck was registered and found an orange-tipped BB pistol in the vehicle.

Hoey told deputies that the car had been tailgating him and that there was an exchange of offensive hand gestures. Hoey added that the woman threatened to throw a fast-food cup at him.

Hoey said he picked up the BB pistol and "showed it" to the couple in an effort to get them to leave him alone.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482