A 27-year-old motorist was charged Wednesday with two weapons violations for allegedly flashing a loaded handgun at another driver in Moorhead, Minn., during an encounter centered on his visible support for President Donald Trump and hers for Democratic presidential hopeful U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Joseph R. Schumacher, a student at Minnesota State University Moorhead, was charged in Clay County District Court with gross-misdemeanor carrying a gun without a permit and misdemeanor unlawful transport of firearms in connection with the rolling encounter with an 18-year-old Moorhead woman shortly after noon Monday on S. 8th Street near Concordia College.
Schumacher appeared in court Wednesday and was released without having to post bail. Messages were left with him seeking his response to the allegations, which prosecutors have classified as a road rage incident.
According to the charges and police:
The woman told law enforcement that Schumacher pulled up next to her and her passenger, rolled down his window and screamed “his dislike for the political bumper sticker” on her car backing Warren.
Schumacher pointed to his Trump/Pence bumper sticker and kept voicing “his difference in national political views,” police said.
After driving several blocks, Schumacher cut in front of her car and waved a pistol, the complaint said.
Schumacher was soon found nearby in a Kurdish restaurant and wearing a “Trump 2020” cap. He contended that he had been flirting with the driver and her female passenger. However, one of Schumacher’s passengers told police that Schumacher did display a gun during the incident.
Officers searched Schumacher’s car and found a loaded handgun in the center console and a retail box in the back seat holding an unloaded handgun and a magazine. Schumacher does not have a state-issued permit to carry a firearm in public.