Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh
Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office
An off-duty Decherd Police officer was charged with aggravated assault after he allegedly pointed his department-issued handgun at a driver Sunday in Murfreesboro, a Rutherford County supervisor said.
Mathew Ward, 31, of Cason Lane in Murfreesboro was charged after an investigation of the road rage case starting on Interstate 24, said Patrol Cpl. William Travis, who was the arresting officer.
The investigation showed Ward observed driver Ilya Kovalchuk of Franklin speeding on I-24 Sunday evening.
The officer displayed his Decherd Police badge and signaled for Kovalchuk to slow down, Travis reported. They exchanged words. Ward pursued Kovalchuk to Medical Center Parkway at Silohill Lane where both men exited their vehicles.
“Ward drew his Decherd-issued handgun and pointed it at Mr. Kovalchuk while ordering him to lay on the ground,” Travis reported.
Travis and Detective Joe Duncan investigated the case, resulting in Ward’s arrest.
Ward was booked into Rutherford County Adult Detention Center and released on $5,000 bond. A hearing is set Oct. 27 in General Sessions Court.