Update: KSU professor charged with menacing after “road rage” incident

KSU professor charged after “road rage” incident on campus from KentWired.com on Vimeo.

An assistant professor involved in a “road rage” fueled encounter faces charges after yelling at another driver outside the Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

The incident, caught on cellphone video Wednesday, shows Linden Adkins, assistant professor for the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology, yelling at the driver of a silver minivan after he was allegedly cut off by the driver. University spokeswoman Emily Vincent confirmed the man involved in the incident, which occurred around 5:30 p.m., was an assistant professor but could not confirm his identity. 

Adkins can be heard shouting, “What kind of a moron are you?” followed by profanities as he stands outside the driver’s-side window.

The student driver of the minivan tried to drive off after Adkins appeared to lean over the windshield wiper of the van to get a better look at the driver. The video shows the side-view mirror knocking Adkins to the ground.

Adkins told ABC News the driver of the minivan had his left hand on the steering wheel while holding his cell phone in his right. He said he had to swerve to avoid getting hit by the van.

“I didn’t get violent. I didn’t get threatening,” Adkins said. “But I did want to make my point to him. Unfortunately, I made it very strong. Maybe I shouldn’t have been quite as intense, but at the same time, is it possible that my being that intense saved a future life?”

Kent State Police said Adkins has been charged with menacing, a fourth-degree misdemeanor and will appear in court April 21. The university and police said the case is still open for investigation.

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Lieutenant Jim Prusha of the Kent Police Department said that if you are ever faced with a confrontational driver, you should remain calm; drive away, if possible, to avoid a fight; and call the police if help is needed.

The incident shows the importance of traffic safety, which Portage County wants residents to be aware of. Friday was “All Out Traffic Safety Day.” All day, officers, troopers, and deputies increased traffic safety awareness in order to reduce traffic-related accidents.

Kent police participated and Lieutenant Jim Prusha said that officers were asked to be more aware of traffic issues.

“We can run radar,” said Prusha. “We can watch intersections to see if people are running through red lights or stop signs… We’re just asking them to be more vigilant about traffic infractions today.”

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the top four factors in car crashes from 2012 to 2014 were unsafe lane changes, following too close, speeding, and failing to yield.

Contact Sammi Ickes at [email protected]. Contact Alexandra Valverde at [email protected].