Radio host claims he was threatened in road rage incident

Jeff Styles
Jeff Styles
photo Jeff Styles

Chattanooga radio host Jeff Styles is disputing a report that he instigated a road rage incident Friday night that led to him being shot in the arm.

Styles, 57, is charged with aggravated assault and vandalism and is out on bond.

A statement released Sunday night by his attorney, Lee Davis, alleges that it was Nickolas Bullington, 35, who threatened Styles as the two were driving on Highway 153, not the other way around.

Police say Styles struck Bullington's window with a tomahawk-style weapon; Styles alleges that he did so out of self defense because Bullington threatened him with a firearm.

On Friday afternoon, police responded to the intersection of Highway 153 and Grubb Road and found Styles suffering from a gunshot wound to his right arm.

Styles told police he and Bullington had gotten into a road rage incident on Highway 27 shortly before the incident on Highway 153. When he reached the intersection of Grubb Road, he stopped at a red light and saw Bullington in a car behind him, he said in the statement.

He said he went into "red mode," pulling out a tomahawk as he exited his vehicle. According to an affidavit, Styles told police he approached the vehicle and "blacked out" when he reached Bullington's door, only coming out of it when Bullington shot him and drove away.

But in his statement Sunday, Styles disputed that, saying he didn't black out and he blamed the police department for interviewing him while he was on morphine.

Bullington said he had seen Styles driving on Highway 27, but told police Styles was driving aggressively and he slowed down to create some distance, finally catching up to Styles at the red light. He said Styles got out of his car at the light, waving the tomahawk in the air as he approached Bullington's car.

Bullington also said Styles broke his window with the weapon, prompting him to grab a pistol and fire it at Styles. He then left the area to find a safe place to call police, he said.

A witness confirmed Bullington's story and said he saw Styles break through Bullington's car window with an object. Styles has been charged with aggravated assault and vandalism.

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