A Merced man was jailed Thursday on suspicion of trying to run down another man with his vehicle in what police described as a “jealous rage” over a woman, authorities reported Friday.
Stephen W. Perry, 51, was booked at the Merced County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a felony, after Merced police allege he tried to run down another man with a 1995 Geo sedan, narrowly missing the man twice.
“He (Perry) told the investigators that he knows the victim and that they both like the same woman,” Capt. Bimley West said Friday.
The victim, 36-year-old Kirk Stokes of Merced, was not reported to have any serious injuries.
West said jealousy may have been the motive for the suspected attack, but that Perry made other claims against Stokes as well. “He (Stokes) told the investigators that he had no idea why this guy was trying to hit him with his car and thought it was very strange,” West said.
Stokes could not be reached for comment.
The victim told police he was riding his bicycle south about 10 a.m. in the 1700 block of Calimyrna Avenue when he spotted Perry driving east on East 18th Street.
“The suspect made a U-turn and went northbound on Calimyrna and positioned his vehicle close to the victim,” West said. “He then swerved toward the victim, but he (Stokes) quickly jumped off his bike to avoid getting hit.”
Police said Stokes got back on his bicycle and rode away, but Perry followed and tried a second time to run down Stokes.
“He had to jump off his bike again to avoid being hit; the bike was damaged,” West said.
Investigators tracked Perry to a home in the 300 block of East 23rd Street, where his vehicle was parked.
“He spoke with the officers, tried to play it down and denied trying to run the victim over,” West said. “Then he began talking about how he and the victim like the same girl.”
Perry was arrested a short time later.
He was still in custody Friday evening. Bail was set at $30,000, according to booking records.
Perry is scheduled for arraignment Monday in Merced County Superior Court, according to court records.