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Off-duty Botetourt County deputy attacks woman in case of road rage, police say

Incident happened Nov. 30

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A Botetourt County sheriff's deputy faces multiple charges after a reported assault last month.

Michael Henretta Brightwell III, 27, of Salem is charged after a woman reported an assault Nov. 30 at 12:30 a.m.

Roanoke County police responded to the disturbance call and were provided with a suspect vehicle description. 

A Roanoke County police sergeant immediately spotted the vehicle traveling northbound on Williamson Road and after stopping the vehicle, the driver was identified as Brightwell, who was off-duty.

According to authorities, the incident occurred when Brightwell pulled out in front of the female victim's car onto Williamson Road, just south of Hershberger Road, in Roanoke City, in the northbound lane.

This caused the victim to slam on her brakes and blow her horn, according to police.

Both vehicles continued down Williamson Road with Brightwell's vehicle in front of hers. At a stop light near the intersection of Williamson Road and Florist Road, in Roanoke County, authorities say Brightwell got out of his car and went back to the victim's car, where the window was down.

He made a threatening statement to the woman and punched her in the abdomen, according to the Roanoke County Police Department. He went back to his car and drove off while the woman went to a nearby parking lot and called the police. 

The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Brightwell was charged with DUI, refusal of blood/breath test, assault and battery and unlawful stopping of a vehicle or blocking access.

There was also a woman in Brightwell's car, 28-year-old Amanda Tarter, of Roanoke, who was arrested and charged with being drunk in public. 

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