It's usually tough to get a photo of a road rager in action, since most drivers dealing with one are too busy trying not to crash to snap a shot. But the victim of Andrea Marquez's alleged freak-out had an advantage: Marquez is said to have actually stopped traffic and blocked lanes in order to retrieve something from her trunk -- possibly a weapon, the victim feared.
We've got the photos, the arrest affidavit and the rest of this strange story.
About 5:30 p.m. on March 12, according to the police report on view below, a woman was driving her 2006 Ford Fusion west on Interstate 70 between Colorado Boulevard and the I-225 interchange in rush-hour traffic when she saw a gold Nissan following her closely.
Too closely, she decided -- so she tapped on her brakes to let the Nissan's pilot a know to back off.
The Nissan's driver, identified as Marquez, definitely got the message, but the woman says she reacted to it badly. Marquez allegedly continued to tailgate the woman, then zoomed up alongside her and offered a one-finger salute -- after which she began throwing unknown items at the woman's car, denting the left rear quarter panel as a result.
The woman told investigators she tried to get away, but the traffic was too heavy to create much distance between her and the Nissan. After she managed to change lanes, Marquez is said to have zoomed around and in front of her a couple of times before slamming on the brakes, nearly causing accidents as a result.
Finally, the report says Marquez brought her car to a halt in front of the Ford, blocking not one but two lanes as she exited her vehicle and walked to her trunk.
The woman, afraid that Marquez was getting a gun (there's an arrest report reference to "an unknown metal weapon"), quickly grabbed a couple images, including this one....
...and this one.... ...before squeezing between the Nissan and the center median and getting the hell out of there.
The shots were subsequently shared on the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers Facebook page as well as on 9News, Crime Stoppers' media partner, and this exposure roused a tipster who identified the woman in the photos as Marquez. At that point, the investigator pulled Marquez's driver's license photo, and despite a change in Marquez's hair color since the March incident, he was still able to tell she and the person in the victim's pics were one and the same.
Now, the Denver District Attorney's Office has hit Marquez with counts related to criminal mischief, menacing, reckless driving and driving under revocation -- meaning, presumably, that she'd lost her license and wasn't supposed to be behind the wheel in the first place.
Marquez is slated for a May 16 court appearance. In the meantime, though, she's free on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. That's something to bear in mind the next time you're tailgated by a gold Nissan.
Here's a larger look at Marquez's booking photo, followed by the arrest affidavit.
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Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa September 2012: "James Ernst cited in case prompted by bike-rage video that went viral."