Tuesday, August 15, 2006

UGA student accused in McDonald's 'road rage' case

Police arrested a University of Georgia student Tuesday for allegedly running into two other McDonald's customers with her car after a dispute over who was next in line.

Ruth Driscoll-Dunn, 24, was taken into custody at her home and charged with two counts of aggravated assault, Athens-Clarke County Police Detective Jeff Clark said.

Melinda Ann Thomas, 34, and her mother, Linda Ann Thomas, 51, were standing in a crowded line around 8:30 a.m. Saturday as they waited to order breakfast, police said. A cashier opened a new line and they stepped to the front of it — a move that angered another customer who was waiting to order.

The Thomases said that as they left the restaurant, the woman pulled out of her parking space and struck both of them with the passenger side of her Jeep. Neither woman was badly injured, the police report said.

Clark said a partial license tag reading and videotape from inside the McDonald's led them to Driscoll-Dunn, who was questioned Monday afternoon.

"Basically, she admitted to hitting the victim. However, she said there were other circumstances relating to the collision," the detective said. He said the suspect claimed the others "provoked the incident."

Driscoll-Dunn will be jailed pending a bond hearing Wednesday morning, Clark said.

The restaurant incident attracted more attention than usual because it came within three months of a fatal attack at a McDonald's in Covington, about 30 miles southwest of Athens. On May 23, a man ran over two women and their three children, killing a 2-year-old. A suspect is facing murder and aggravated assault charges in the attack, for which authorities have said they had no motive.



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