Obama road-rage driver takes plea deal

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 12:56pm
Weisiger_Harry.JPG
Harry Weisiger

A Nashville man who gained national attention by allegedly ramming the car in front of him because it had a bumper sticker supporting Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign pleaded guilty yesterday to criminal charges.

Harry Weisiger, 70, of Elmington Ave., a former vice president with Hardaway Realty in Nashville, entered guilty pleas on one charge each of misdemeanor reckless endangerment and driving under the influence. Other charges against him, including leaving the scene of an accident, were dismissed.

On the afternoon of March 25, 2010, Belmont-area resident Mark Duren was driving home with his 10-year-old daughter in the car when, according to police reports, Weisiger pulled up in his SUV behind Duren’s Toyota Camry at a stop sign.

"He blew his horn at Duren to get his attention," the arresting officer reported. "He then began to point at Duren’s OBAMA/BIDEN bumper sticker. He then began to stick up the middle finger of both of his hands to Duren. When Duren left the stop sign, Weisiger rushed up to him and began to bump his vehicle into Duren’s Camry. Weisiger then used his vehicle to push Duren’s Camry into a driveway located at 2539 Blair Blvd."

Officers arrested Weisiger soon afterward in the parking lot of the nearby Harris-Teeter supermarket.

The incident made national news and lit up the political blogosphere. Left-wing bloggers like Wonkette cited it as evidence of a violent streak in the ranks of those opposed to Obama's presidency. On the right, sites like Left Coast Rebel accused Duren of being a publicity-seeker and noted that the incident happened just a few weeks after Weisiger had lost his wife to cancer.

Criminal Court Judge Leon Ruben sentenced Weisiger to serve 48 hours in jail for the DUI conviction and placed him on probation for two years, during which time he is required to undergo alcohol treatment. He is also to complete 48 hours of community service, pay a $350 fine and lose his license for a year. And Ruben ordered him to issue a written apology to Duren and his daughter.

Susan Niland, spokesperson for the Metro District Attorney's office, told The City Paper that Duren had "consulted with our prosecutor and suggested this plea, as one that was satisfactory to him and his family."

21 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 6/30/10 at 11:14

i'd love for him to share the "apology" letter with us.

By: dargent7 on 6/30/10 at 2:25

Ha! What a three time loser. Pleads to 2 counts. His boy McCain/ Palin lost too.
Nice group of people if you don't value brains.

By: WickedTribe on 6/30/10 at 5:55

Why does our society persist with the mythology that there's any difference between children and adults?

By: oldhickorytony on 7/1/10 at 6:04

I'm clueless as to your point, WickedTribe... unless you're a 10 year old? Don't care what your politics are... committing what amounts to especially aggravated assault with a weapon on an adult is pretty stupid... committing it on a 10 year old, makes you lower than whale snot...

This rich jerk is lucky he didn't go to prison... they would have put the rest of us regular folks under the jail and thrown away the key...

By: budlight on 7/1/10 at 7:07

Gee, I just got cut off by a creep on the freeway driving a vehicle wih a "peace" sign on the back. And my car had AAA and NSAI stickers. Wonder what that peacenick was smoking? Or thinking? And he was definitely not rich.

I think this guy needs some therapy. He's over thinking Obama. Obama ain't worth going to jail for.

By: HenryB on 7/1/10 at 7:31

Ramming a car with a 10-year-old inside?? And the guy spends 48 hours in jail?? They should lock him under the jail and throw away the key.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 7/1/10 at 7:37

they should have charged him with Child Endangerment.

By: dargent7 on 7/1/10 at 8:11

His pic looks like Al Gore aged 10 years.

By: localboy on 7/1/10 at 8:18

"On the right, sites like Left Coast Rebel accused Duren of being a publicity-seeker and noted that the incident happened just a few weeks after Weisiger had lost his wife to cancer." So the sight of the bumper sticker reopened the recent wound of his personal tragedy? Please.

By: xhexx on 7/1/10 at 8:32

I'd sit in jail before I ever apologized to an 0bama supporter for anything.

By: brrrrk on 7/1/10 at 9:14

"a former vice president with Hardaway Realty in Nashville"

And here I thought this guy was some sort of trailer trash redneck Bubba. This was a man who obviously knew better, but chose his path regardless. I say he got off lucky.

By: trtay2004 on 7/1/10 at 9:44

The guy got off lucky. He obviously has mental problems and needs to be committed. I guess if the father or daughter had been killed, they would just slap him on the wrist and say 'bad boy'. This is an outrage.

By: stlgtr55@yahoo.com on 7/1/10 at 10:18

I can't believe none of you Libs haven't called him a racist.

By: revo-lou on 7/1/10 at 11:42

"By: stlgtr55@yahoo.com on 7/1/10 at 11:18
I can't believe none of you Libs haven't called him a racist."

I can’t believe none of you “teabaggers” haven’t hailed him as a hero!

By: budlight on 7/1/10 at 2:06

By: localboy on 7/1/10 at 9:18
"On the right, sites like Left Coast Rebel accused Duren of being a publicity-seeker and noted that the incident happened just a few weeks after Weisiger had lost his wife to cancer." So the sight of the bumper sticker reopened the recent wound of his personal tragedy? Please.

tragedy can trigger emotions in almost all of us. I don't think that should be used as an excuse for bad behavior. I'm sure he's not a racist nor is he a hero.

He's a sad man who lost his wife and has committed an illegal act. I bet he's embarrassed.

By: stlgtr55@yahoo.com on 7/1/10 at 3:19

rev, we're tea partiers, not tea baggers. That's a vulgar defammatory slur the first black president, Bill Clinton came up with.

By: nashbucket on 7/1/10 at 4:01

The tea party's over--seniors shout, "Let's roll!"

By: political1iam on 7/1/10 at 4:02

What a travesty of so called justice!
To use a vehicle as a weapon against anyone regardless of age ,politics etc., should be a felony and treated and sentenced as such.
This should have been bound over to the Grand Jury rather than Judge Reben issuing a slap on the wrist!

By: revo-lou on 7/1/10 at 4:04

"By: stlgtr55@yahoo.com on 7/1/10 at 4:19
rev, we're tea partiers, not tea baggers. That's a vulgar defammatory slur the first black president, Bill Clinton came up with."

Wear it however you choose. But, none of that dispels the context of my statement.

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