A North Bellmore driver is facing assault charges — and recovering from a gunshot wound to his buttocks — after he struck another motorist, a retired law enforcement officer, with a flashlight during a roadway dispute.
Michael Bua, 47, of Stratford Court, was driving a white Hyundai north on Bellmore Road in North Bellmore around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday when he cut off the 62-year-old male operator of another vehicle in the vicinity of Magnolia Road, said Det. Lt. Richard Lebrun, a Nassau police spokesman.
Both motorists then got out of their vehicles and the verbal dispute escalated into a physical altercation, Lebrun said.
Bua struck the victim several times in the head with a seven-inch black flashlight, authorities said.
The victim, a retired police officer with a valid Nassau County pistol permit, responded by taking the gun from his holster and firing one round, striking Bua in his left buttocks, Lebrun said.
Both men were taken to a hospital for treatment of their injuries.
"The victim felt that his life was in danger," Lebrun said, noting that responding officers found the man bleeding profusely from his head.
Bua is charged with second-degree assault and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He will be arraigned after recovering from his injuries, police said.
Nassau police declined to identify the victim, who was not charged, other than to describe him as a former law enforcement officer. Lebrun declined to say from which police agency he had retired.
The victim's pistol license was suspended pending an outcome of an investigation by the Nassau Police Department and the Nassau District Attorney's Office, Lebrun said.
Members of the Pistol License Bureau also responded to the victim's home and removed other legally owned firearms "for safe keeping," Lebrun said.
There is no indication that Bua and the victim knew each other but police are speaking to witnesses and looking for possible video of the incident, he said.
Lebrun urged motorists involved in road rage incidents to call police rather than confronting the other motorist.
But he added that "this is a situation where nobody thinks they are going to be assaulted."
Bua was charged in 2006 with second-degree assault, a felony, and sentenced to 840 hours of community service, records show.