Radio host Jeff Styles placed on leave after road rage incident

Jeff Styles
Jeff Styles
photo Jeff Styles

Chattanooga radio host Jeff Styles is on leave from the radio station he works for after his alleged involvement in a road rage fight earlier this month that ended with another man shooting Styles in the arm.

In a statement released Monday, management at the radio station, WGOW, confirmed Styles will be off the air while an internal investigation is conducted. He was placed on leave by officials with Cumulus Media, WGOW's parent company. In the meantime, a replacement will fill his time slot.

"Gary Mac has filled in for Styles in the past and did so last week and he will continue to do so," WGOW officials said Monday. "He has other obligations, however, for the next two weeks and afternoon host Brian Joyce will be hosting 'The Morning Press' along with Jim Reynolds."

The Times Free Press previously reported that court documents show Chattanooga police responded on June 15 to the intersection of Highway 153 and Grubb Road and found Styles with a gunshot wound to his right arm.

Styles told police he and Bullington had gotten into a confrontation 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.

Styles later disputed that, saying he didn't black out and he blamed the police department for interviewing him while he was on morphine in the hospital. Styles also said he struck Bullington's window in self-defense because Bullington threatened him with a firearm.

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 the 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.

Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.

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