SALEM — A Danvers man who apparently became enraged when the elderly driver behind him sounded his horn at a busy intersection Wednesday has been charged with punching the older man until he fell to the ground, police said.
Brian Hurley, 50, of 7 Ray St. pleaded not guilty yesterday in Salem District Court to assault and battery on a person over 60.
The encounter began when a 65-year-old man driving on Norman Street in Salem honked at Hurley, who was in the car ahead of him. The older driver apparently wanted Hurley to make a right turn onto Washington Street while the light was red, according to a police report.
Instead, Hurley — who had his 2-year-old granddaughter in the back seat — got out of his Honda Accord and confronted the older driver, who then got out of his car, police said.
Police say Hurley began punching the older man, who ended up on the pavement, then drove away. Two bystanders called police and later gave eyewitness accounts.
The older man also called 911 and began following Hurley as he headed toward Marblehead.
Police caught up with Hurley near the intersection of Lafayette Street and Loring Avenue.
The older man was described by police as "shaken" but not physically injured.
Police filed a report of suspected neglect or abuse against Hurley with the Department of Children and Families, as a result of his decision to leave the toddler in a running car while he got out to fight, police said.
Hurley remains free on personal recognizance, on condition that he stay away from the other driver while the case is pending.
He is due back in court June 12.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or firstname.lastname@example.org.