The phrase "international incident" understates the controversy that erupted in Pakistan this past January after Raymond Davis, subsequently revealed to be a CIA employee, killed two men in what he insisted was self-defense. Now, a story closer to home drags Davis back into the spotlight: He's been charged with felony assault for a fight over a parking spot.
Davis insisted that he was being robbed when he shot the two Pakistani men in the city of Lahore earlier this year. Afterward, the United States sprang into action on his behalf, in a way that suggested he wasn't just any American. Indeed, a third man was run over by a U.S. vehicle hurrying to the scene on Davis's behalf.
Still, his affiliation didn't begin leaking out until early February, when 9News managed to reach Davis's wife in Highlands Ranch. She provided the reporter in question with the name of a CIA spokesperson -- a fact the station duly noted. Shortly thereafter, however, the State Department contacted 9News reps, asking that the link between Davis and the CIA be taken down, because the information potentially endangered his life. The station agreed, but a few weeks later, the Associated Press divulged his employment as a CIA contractor anyhow.
This revelation further complicated an already difficult situation. The U.S., which decreed that Davis was immune from Pakistani prosecution, ultimately made a $2.34 million outlay to the families of the dead men in order to win Davis's release circa mid-March. The traditional Islamic term for such a payment? Blood money.
The episode further soured U.S.-Pakistan relations, which got even worse after American forces successfully led a raid on Osama bin Laden's Pakistan compound without bringing that country's authorities into the loop. But Davis faded from the headlines -- at least until Saturday, when he got into a dust-up outside a Highlands Ranch bagel shop.
He reportedly wanted the same parking space as Jeff Maes, fifty -- and Maes says that after he got there first, Davis rolled down his window and started cursing. But that wasn't all. Davis then allegedly got out of his car and punched Maes, in full view of the latter's wife and two daughters, ages six and eight.
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In the beginning, Davis was arrested on suspicion of two misdemeanors -- third-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Now, however, he's been hit with a felony second-degree assault charge, plus a misdemeanor disorderly conduct count for good measure.
And this time, he can't count on the U.S. government to rescue him. Look below to see a 9News report on the latest developments.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Charles Farrar: Last-gasp appeal of sex-abuse case claims prosecution misconduct."