Longtime Talk Radio host Jeff Styles says on his website that he was "Stalked, Terrorized, Shot ... Then Stripped Of Victim Status."
The longtime broadcaster, who is on leave from WGOW, tells his story with a subhead, "The Mind Blowin Truth - Stranger Than Fiction - Ground by Gears of Legal (Not Justice) System."
Styles had his case - from a June 15 road rage incident in which he was shot in the arm - bound to the Grand Jury last week on charges of aggravated assault and vandalism.
He told Judge Gary Starnes at the hearing that he was acting in self defense when he went after the other driver with a hatchet because he knew the man was going to shoot and kill him. However, the judge said he found no self defense on his part and said he was "amazed" he was not killed after hitting the man's vehicle and then breaking his driver's side window with the hatchet.
Styles said on the website that he has made many enemies over the years during his radio career and said all efforts to get back at him had failed until this "truly terrifying and ultimately life-destroying sequence....none of MY choosing...was set into motion."
He said, "And you might be next. Not only here but anywhere in America where memories are long and common sense/logic and compassion run short. This is a cautionary tale."
He stated, "I was involved in a "road rage" incident in the warm and beautiful late afternoon of 6?15/18. The picture I'd like to present to you, to hold in mind as you peruse this site: It's Friday. It's payday. I had several hundred dollars in cash in my pocket. It was Father's Day weekend (I have 6 children and one grandson). It was the second Friday of our big, 8-day summer music festival, "Riverbend", where I was introducing a couple of hot new acts I had personally booked. PLUS...it was the first day of the first vacation I'd had in over a year, having broken my leg on May 8, 2017...laying me low for the entire summer and fall, even creeping into early winter. I was, literally, either in the hospital or convalescing at home for 4 solid months over the course of 5 surgeries (but worked during most of that time, broadcasting from home whenever possible). Plainly, you can see why I would have been filled with anger and rage. Hell, I was giddy with delight, looking forward to MUCH-needed time off to pursue my favorite activities...chiefly in the stunning natural beauty of the outdoors...which revives and replenishes me. But that was not to be.
"So why did I get out of my car? I exited my car with arms outstretched in a beseeching manner...but also, in this instance, an 'I'm OVER this!' manner...a line any real man would finally reach after being chased, threatened, run off the road and consistently shown the distinctive finger/thumb combo 'I'LL SHOOT YOU' hand gesture, would eventually cross.
"MY line was 14+ miles . It HAD TO STOP!.
"I did NOT advance toward him. Did not 'swing' the tool in my hand. Didn't strike the vehicle more than the one time that deflected his coming shot. Did not even get to mouth the words I'd had in my mind. In one swift motion, I was in his crosshairs. And 'NO'...a piece of glass is not a 'barrier' when it comes to powerful firearms aimed at your body mass.
"I never intended to USE the 'Shrike' in any manner. But was forced to in order to save my own life.
My thought and fear? He's about to shoot and kill me."
"The LAST thing my darkest nightmares could have conjured up was a firefight with an unknown assailant with an unknown weapon at a crowded, (Friday evening) intersection. With several dozen commuters jammed together under an otherwise uneventful red light...I didn't want to BE shot. Didn't want to kill another person. And certainly didn't want any innocent people caught up in a crossfire.
The website shows several mugshots of the other driver, Nick Bullington, with a list of driving infractions from Florida.
Styles then gave a time frame of the incident:
4:10 p.m. Jeff leaves home to head to Riverbend Festival. Gets on Hwy 111SB
4:15 p.m. Jeff Styles first encountered Nickolas Bullington on Highway 111 SB as Styles approached a slow-moving tractor trailer. Styles was in the left hand lane passing the tractor trailer when Bullington drove up behind Styles at an excessive speed. Concerned that Bullington would hit his vehicle, Styles sped up, pulled back into the right-hand lane as quickly as possible, and raised his hand, communicating to Bullington to "back off”, Striking the internationally known, WTF. Get off my ass 'pose'. Bullington made an obscene gesture (flipped him a bird), and followed Styles over to the right-hand lane, driving dangerously close to Styles' car.
4:17 p.m. Styles hit his brakes 2-3 times, hoping Bullington would go around him. Instead, Bullington then moved into the left-hand lane, sped up to get beside Styles, and — pointing his hand at Styles—made a gun-firing motion with his hand.Bullington then proceeded to move back into the right-hand lane and attempted to run Styles’ vehicle off the road near the tractor trailer emergency ramp. The driver’s side of the car was on rumble stripes, while the passenger’s side of Styles’ car was completely off the road. As Styles began to slowly try to get back on the road, Bullington slowed down again, brandished a handgun, and proceeded to slow down until Styles was back on the road. Having shown Styles his weapon, Bullington again got behind Styles, dangerously close to his bumper.
4:20 p.m. With Bullington once again behind him, Styles sped up in an attempt to get away from Bullington. Bullington followed Styles onto Hwy 27 southbound — dangerously close on Styles’ bumper. Styles could see Bullington though his rear view mirror, now pointing at the weapon which was apparently in his lap . Styles hoped a police officer would be nearby in Soddy Daisy area, and would see the two vehicles speeding by, and pull them over so that Jeff could finally safely escape Bullington’s dangerous behavior.
4:25 p.m. Styles continued to speed in an effort to get away from Bullington. Finally able to get a little distance between himself and Bullington, Styles took the Hwy 153-Hixson exit. Bullington sped up once again, followed Styles off the exit and caught up to Styles at a red light on Hwy 153, nearly striking his back bumper before he stopped stopping only inches from his bumper. Bullington again “flipped Styles a bird,” and, again, pointed down to the weapon in his lap.
4:28 p.m. Now, convinced that Bullington was going to pull up beside him and shoot him, and being surrounded by other cars and people, Styles felt his only option was to jump out of the car and confront Bullington. Styles made a conscious decision to forgo grabbing the firearms he had with him that day, and, instead, grabbed his military-grade tomahawk and jumped out of his vehicle. He spread his arms out, holding the tomahawk, in hopes that Bullington would choose to drive away. Simultaneously, Bullington pointed his handgun at Styles. Now armed with only a tomahawk, Styles defended himself by taking took 2 steps towards Bullington’s car and swinging the tomahawk at Bullington’s driver-side window;Bullington fired his gun, hitting Styles in the right arm.
4:30 p.m. Wounded, Styles got back into his car and grabbed a handkerchief to try to stop the bleeding. Styles then drove to the first possible pull-off. Bleeding profusely, Styles pulled off the road and called 911 WITHIN TWO MINUTES of the incident.
4:45 p.m. Bullington—having shot Styles—fled the scene at a high rate of speed. According to the police report, Bullington drove approx. 16 minutes through Hixson and all the way to the TVA Recreational area of the Chickamauga Dam before stopping.
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