PIQUA — An incident of road rage and possible reckless driving escalated to an assault involving a vehicle on Friday, Sept. 11. Dennis M. Ullery, 43, of Houston reportedly drove onto the Upper Valley Career Center (UVCC) parking lot property that morning at 8 a.m. to scold a juvenile for what he thought was reckless driving. Ullery then allegedly assaulted two juvenile students, striking one with his car.
According to Piqua police reports, Ullery explained “he had been driving South on Looney in the inside lane when a car load of juveniles in a Malibu had passed him on the outside lane and then recklessly turned right in front of him and into the UVCC lot.” Ullery stated that he followed the students into the parking lot to tell them that they could have caused an accident and should after been more careful.
Ullery claimed that, at that point, he got out of his vehicle and shook his finger at the juvenile driver to scold him. Ullery claimed that a juvenile passenger “started to get belligerent,” so Ullery left to get back in his car.
The three students riding in that car claimed that Ullery had done more at that point. One juvenile claimed that “Ullery had gone up to his window, grabbed him about the neck, and punched him in the jaw,” according to Piqua police reports. An officer at the scene noted that he saw a red mark on the juvenile’s face and took a photo of the allegedly injury. Two witnesses in the car also supported that juvenile’s claim.
After that point, the students stated that they got out of the car and began arguing with Ullery. Ullery then got back into his car and allegedly struck one of those students with his car.
According to nine student witnesses, including the three already involved, the action appeared intentional. The six students who were not involved in the incident were kept separate from the three who were before everyone was questioned.
The juvenile who had been struck reportedly admitted to punching the hood of the car and kicking the side of the car in anger after the event. The juvenile told an officer that his legs were sore, but he did not believe he was injured.
Ullery denied hitting the student, focusing instead on stating that the students “have no respect.” An adult riding with Ullery, but not involved in the incident, claimed at first that Ullery had not struck the student. Later, during an interview, the adult admitted to lying and stated that Ullery had struck the student. The adult told the officer that “he did not think the student was hurt so he did not think it was important,” according to Piqua police reports.
An officer also spoke with Principal Joe Davis of UVCC, who stated that the students involved in the incident are not students that Davis has problems with. There was also surveillance video of the incident provided to police.
Ullery was charged with second-degree felonious assault and first-degree misdemeanor assault in connection with this incident. A preliminary hearing is set for Ullery on Sept. 23.