By MARTHA KANG
A Puyallup police officer has been charged in a road rage incident that occurred over Memorial Day weekend.
Mark Delight has been charged with second-degree assault and reckless driving in an incident in which the officer, during his off-duty hours, allegedly chased down another driver and threatened him with a gun.
Investigators said Delight called in on May 31 and said he was following a hit-and-run suspect in an unmarked car and needed backup.
Delight told officers trouble began when he was stopped at an intersection earlier in the day, and the driver in the car behind him honked the horn.
Delight said he "saw that his light had turned green while his attention was elsewhere," and "flipped off the driver behind him" before proceeding, according to the statement of probable cause.
The officer said the driver behind him then passed him "in a reckless manner," then "slammed on his brakes," causing Delight to "'lightly' rear end" the vehicle, the document said.
The driver then took off, weaving in and out of traffic recklessly, Delight said, ultimately turning his vehicle around to strike Delight's vehicle.
When later questioned by detectives, Delight changed his story and said the other driver was making a U-turn when Delight himself "ran into (the car) on the driver's side," adding he only struck the victim because he believed the victim was about to strike him.
The hit driver admitted he'd honked his horn at Delight. He added he'd then passed him, and slowed, because he wanted to return Delight's "flip off," the statement said. But when he slowed, Delight rear-ended him, he said.
The driver said he then saw Delight reaching for something in his vehicle, he told investigators. Fearful he was reaching for a weapon, he took off, wanting to avoid further confrontation, he said.
While speeding off, however, he noticed he was being followed by Delight. In an attempt to lose the car, the driver said he decided to make a U-turn in the 7400 block of 112th Street East. As he turned, however, Delight struck him on the driver side, he told investigators.
The impact of the crash sent the hit car spinning, the driver said, and when it finally came to rest, he saw Delight exiting his car with his gun drawn.
"It was not until Delight had (the driver) on the ground with his gun pointing at him that he realized Delight was a police officer," according to the statement.
Detectives said they've found evidence on the scene that corroborates the hit driver's story. They believe "when (the hit driver) was making his U-turn, Delight crossed the entire oncoming lane and past the shoulder of the road in order to strike (him) on the driver's side of the vehicle," the document said.
Prosecutors said Delight could face additional charges.