The football world was stunned by the death of former NFL running back Joe McKnight on Thursday. Even more shocking is the fact that his killer, 54-year-old Ronald Gasser, was released from custody without charges. Sheriff Newell Normand of Jefferson Parrish shared more details on the case during a press conference, noting that some details brought prior eyewitness testimony into question and that the “Stand Your Ground” law “looms on the horizon.”
But now another interesting detail regarding Gasser has been brought to light according to the New Orleans Advocate. In 2006, Gasser was involved in another road rage incident at the very same intersection where Joe McKnight was killed. According to The Advocate, a 51-year-old man called 911 in Jefferson Parrish to report another man driving a red pickup truck unsafely:
The truck had a phone number that motorists could call to report unsafe driving, and the man dialed it, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Gasser picked up and told the caller he was the person driving the truck in question, the Sheriff’s Office said. An argument ensued; the caller then pulled into a gasoline station at the intersection of Holmes Boulevard and Behrman Highway to begin refueling his car, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Gasser followed the caller, confronted him and began striking him “with a closed first several times,” the Sheriff’s Office said. Gasser then left, and the other man called 911, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators later issued Gasser a misdemeanor summons for simple battery, a charge that prosecutors later dismissed, as The New Orleans Advocate had previously reported.
A statement from the sheriff’s office indicated they would review the case to determine why the charges were dismissed.
There’s no clear indication that this would factor into the incident with McKnight, but Sheriff Normand tried to be clear that no charges were announced to avoid rushing to judgment:
“If you rush to judgment from the beginning and make a strategic error, it makes it very difficult to recover later.”
If the police are taking their time with the investigation, one would assume all details could play a part. It’s the least you could ask for out of such a tragic situation.
(Via New Orleans Advocate)