Grove City man spewed racial slurs during Hwy. 12 attack
GROVE CITY — A Grove City man who blocked both lanes of traffic Tuesday on U.S. Highway 12 shouted racial slurs as he chased and attacked two people who had tried to drive around the man’s vehicle.
William Richard Dugan, 57, is accused of attacking a male with a nail-studded board, biting him as the two struggled on the ground, using his truck to ram the victims’ vehicle and then pursuing the two people with his truck as they sought refuge behind a third vehicle that had stopped at the scene.
During the rampage, Dugan allegedly “screamed racial slurs” at the two people, who were identified in the police report as a 57-year-old black man and 60-year-old black woman.
The two told police they feared for their lives.
Dugan is being held in the Meeker County Jail on $500,000 unconditional bail and $250,000 conditional bail after being charged Thursday in Meeker County District Court with five felony crimes and one misdemeanor.
The charges detailed in the criminal complaint include two counts of first-degree assault, two counts of second-degree assault, one charge of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, first-degree damage to property — all felonies — and a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree damage to property.
An additional charge of fourth-degree assault is expected to be filed after Dugan allegedly spit at a corrections officer while in jail.
He appeared in court Thursday wearing a “spit shield” to prevent him from spitting on anyone else, according to Meeker County Attorney Tony Spector.
According to the criminal complaint, the drama began to unfold at around 2:40 p.m. Tuesday west of Grove City.
At that time Dugan had allegedly blocked both lanes of Highway 12 with his pickup.
He told police he was looking for his dogs at the time, which he believed were in a culvert near Highway 12.
Vehicles traveling on the highway were forced to drive on the shoulders of the road to get around Dugan’s truck.
When the male victim, who was driving east on Highway 12, attempted to drive around the obstacle, he clipped Dugan’s pickup. When he went to look at the damage, Dugan yelled racial comments at the man, according to the police report.
Dugan then retrieved a two-by-four board that had nails protruding from it and attacked the man with it. The man and Dugan struggled on the ground, and Dugan bit the man during the attack.
After the man freed himself, the man and his female companion retreated across the road to their own vehicle.
But Dugan repeatedly rammed their vehicle with his truck with such force that the vehicle eventually slid into the ditch, resulting in extensive damage.
According to the complaint, the pair “sought immediate safety” behind a witness’ vehicle that was stopped at the scene.
Dugan didn’t give up.
He allegedly continued to chase the pair with his pickup, chasing them around the third vehicle two or three times in an attempt to strike them, while continuing to scream racial slurs, according to the complaint.
During that chase, Dugan struck another vehicle.
He was apprehended at the scene, where he allegedly admitted his actions.
During his appearance in court, Judge Jenna Fischer attached several conditions to Dugan’s potential release from jail, including surrendering all his weapons, surrendering his permits to carry from Minnesota and Arkansas and surrendering any permit to purchase firearms. He would also be required to take all prescription medications.
Dugan’s next court appearance is set for Dec. 11.
Staff Writer Gretchen Schlosser contributed to this report.