Bail remains in alleged mailbox incident |

Bail remains in alleged mailbox incident

Staff Reports

A preliminary hearing is set Jan. 21 for a 68-year-old Ruhenstroth man accused of using his car to bump the vehicle of a woman parked in front of neighborhood mail boxes who didn’t move fast enough after collecting her mail.

East Fork Justice Tom Perkins refused to release Robert Owens from Douglas County Jail pending results of a psychological examination by Dr. Joseph McEllistrem.

Owens was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and an alternative sentencing violation in connection with the Jan. 8 incident.

The alleged victim said when she got out of her car to confront Owens, he was screaming and using obscenities. She claimed he directed his vehicle at her and accelerated, striking her knees with a fender.

Owens was arrested at his home and denied trying to strike her.

In seeking Owens’ release, lawyer Tod Young said Wednesday his client had no prior criminal history before last year and had breathing issues while in custody.

“Bob was not trying to hurt anybody,” Young said, adding that his comments did not imply guilt.

Prosecutor Erik Levin objected to reducing Owens’ bail or releasing him on his own recognizance.

He pointed out that Owens was in court late last year after reportedly threatened his wife.

“In the previous case, there were very serious threats involving a firearm. He pleaded guilty to harassment. Now, six weeks later, he is facing a felony assault charge using his vehicle.

“He doesn’t have a criminal history, but we don’t know what’s been happening over the last six months. Until we do, He is an extreme risk to anyone around him or in the community,” Levin said.

He is being held without bail on the alternative sentencing violation and $25,000 bail on the assault charge.

Perkins said terms of Owens’ release on the harassment conviction included that he not violate any laws. While he hasn’t been convicted of the assault charge, Perkins said there was probable cause to hold him.

“I don’t feel I’m in a position to relieve you of the consequences of this,” Perkins said.

He said Owens can raise the issue at his next court appearance Wednesday prior to the preliminary hearing.