Police: Man pointed gun at pregnant driver

(Courtesy of the Austin Police Department)

A man was arrested in the early morning hours Saturday after Austin police say he pointed a gun at another driver while stopped at a light in south Austin.

Matthew Durant, 35, was arrested June 8 after a female driver called APD around 2:52 a.m. saying she had been threatened with a gun by another driver, according to an arrest affidavit.

The victim said that while her vehicle was entering the roadway, she had observed a gray two-door BMW moving at what she perceived to be "a high rate of speed." When she entered the lane the BMW was in, the driver, later identified as Durant, flashed his high beams at her.

She moved out of the lane and Durant sped past, flipping her off, says the affidavit. They were eventually stopped at the same light at S. Lamar Boulevard and Oltorf Street and the victim said she rolled down her window to ask Durant why he was driving so fast and told him he should be more careful "because she was pregnant and his behavior puts her at risk."

According to the affidavit, Durant then held up a black handgun which he then loaded. As he was loading the gun, he inserted the magazine and chambered a round while the gun was pointed at the woman and other passengers in her vehicle. The victim said she "thought she was going to die."

The light turned green and Durant drove on at which time the woman called APD and provided a description of him and the car, says the affidavit.

An officer later observed a gray vehicle turn onto Barton Skyway from S. Lamar at a speed that "caused an audible screech from the tires" as it turned, according to the affidavit. The car then turned onto Manchaca Road and continued southbound.

A short time later another officer observed a gray sedan traveling fast southbound through the light at Stassney Lane and Manchaca Road. The officer attempted to catch up to the car to check the license plate and, according to the affidavit, had to drive 68 mph for at least two blocks to do so.

The officer observed the car cut off a white SUV and slam on its brakes near the intersection of Berkeley and Manchaca Road before turning into the 7-11 in the 6300 block of Manchaca Road, says the affidavit. The officer found the license plate of the car to be similar to what the female victim provided and initiated a high risk traffic stop.

According to the affidavit, when the officer turned on her emergency lights, Durant got out of the car unprovoked, and she gave him instructions. Another officer arrived on scene and told Durant to walk backwards towards them, and said he was compliant, but there was a "detectable gap in time" between the command and the action. 

Officers found a loaded S&W M&P Shield in the glove compartment of the car during a search, says the affidavit. One of the officers talked with Durant in the rear of a patrol car to collect information and said they observed the "strong odor of an alcoholic beverage" coming from Durant and that his eyes "were shiny, and reflective."

Durant said he did not want to answer any further questions when given his Miranda warning so no field sobriety tests were administered, says the affidavit. The officer said that Durant, when standing in front of the patrol car during a search, had difficulty maintaining a solitary postion and "had a distinctive sway."

Durant was charged with aggravated assault, a second-degree felony.