Driver accused of punching fellow motorist, then hindering investigation

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EASTWENATCHEE — Deputies say a Waterville man got out of his truck and punched a fellow driver in the face, then told a witness to lie about the crime.

On Friday Douglas County prosecutors charged Scott Klinginsmith, 55, with witness tampering and fourth-degree assault. On Feb. 29, Klinginsmith allegedly got out of his truck while it was stopped for a light at Eastmont Avenue and Highway 2, punched a woman motorist, and drove away.

Deputies said Klinginsmith denied committing assault when interviewed. He said he was behind the other driver, became frustrated by her vehicle handling, and stepped out of his truck at the stop to exchange words with her before driving on.

Klinginsmith produced a witness who said she was in his truck at the time and upheld his story. But later, the witness allegedly recanted, saying she had not been present in Klinginsmith’s vehicle and he had told her to lie.

Prosecutors charged Klinginsmith by summons. He must appear in Douglas County Superior Court in July.