UPDATE: Kamas man arrested in confrontation with cyclist
A 41-year-old Kamas man was arrested and booked into the Summit County jail Saturday after he swerved at bicyclists on the Mirror Lake Highway in his pickup truck, the authorities said.
A. Jason Barto, who campaigned unsuccessfully for a Kamas City Council seat in 2007, was charged with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony and two misdemeanor traffic violations.
Barto has indicated in the past to The Park Record that he may run next year for the mayor post in Kamas. Barto was driving a Nissan Frontier in Kamas when he allegedly swerved at several bicyclists, said Cameron Roden, a spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol.
"They found from speaking with the Kamas officers that the driver of the pickup truck is somewhat mentally unstable," Roden said. "Evidently, he has somewhat of a history. What the extent of the history is, I don’t know."
At about 9:30 a.m. witnesses said Barto "had swerved at every opportunity possible at these bikers," Roden said, adding that most of the cyclists were competing in a race at the time.
"He evidently got fairly close to a bicyclist and this bicyclist grabbed a hold of the mirror of the vehicle and the driver evidently swerved at him again while he was holding on," Roden said. "The guy was able to jump off his bike but the bike was run over."
The driver, who was not injured, was arrested for aggravated assault and a misdemeanor lane violation, Roden said. The cyclist involved in the altercation was not charged and suffered only minor cuts and scratches, he added.
"There was just a little bit of an argument that ensued between the two," Roden said. "The officer said the driver of the pickup truck’s shirt was ripped."
According to Roden, "the vehicle itself was one of the things that added the aggravation to it." "Serious bodily injury or death could have occurred," he said.
Barto was released from jail on bail Aug. 2. He did not return telephone calls seeking comment.
An initial appearance for Barto is scheduled in the Snyderville Basin Monday at 8:24 a.m.
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