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May 25, 2022

Ex Cop Pleads Not Guilty in Hwy 156 Road Rage Incident

A retired Monterey County corrections officer facing 19 years in
prison for allegedly pointing a loaded gun at a female motorist on
Highway 156 last month pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
A retired Monterey County corrections officer facing 19 years in prison for allegedly pointing a loaded gun at a female motorist on Highway 156 last month pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Hilton Dyar, 64, of Seaside, was charged with felony assault with a firearm and misdemeanor exhibiting a firearm after allegedly pointing a loaded pistol at a fellow driver on Highway 156 near The Alameda in a fit of road rage, according to police. Dyar’s attorney, Kurt Robinson, declined to comment on the case following a brief arraignment hearing at the San Benito County Courthouse Tuesday morning. Superior Court Judge Steve Sanders oversaw the hearing, at which Dyar showed little emotion.

The two charges carry a maximum of 19 years behind bars, and Dyar won’t have a chance to plea bargain his way to lesser charges under San Benito County District Attorney John Sarsfield’s new zero-tolerance policy. The policy prohibits those accused of gun or gang-related crimes from striking plea bargains and is aimed at curbing those types of offenses, according to Sarsfield, who instated the policy three weeks ago following a rash of gang-related shootings.

The charges stem from Dyar’s arrest last month when he allegedly threatened a female motorist with a loaded, semi-automatic pistol. The victim called 911 from her cell phone and gave a description of the suspect and his vehicle. Police pulled Dyar over and found a loaded H&K 9mm pistol behind the driver’s seat. The gun later turned out to be stolen, according to Undersheriff Pat Turturici. The victim, who police declined to name, told police that a man had been tailgating her, pulled up along side her and pointed a black gun at her.

Dyar worked as a correction’s officer for Monterey County from 1977 to 1993, according to Monterey County Undersheriff Nancy Cuffney, who had little information to provide regarding Dyar’s tenure at the department.

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