FARMINGTON — A Jay man accused of pointing a gun at two women and their children during a December road rage incident made his initial appearance in court on Monday.

Jacob Couture, 27, gave no answer to misdemeanor charges of a threatening display of a weapon and endangering the welfare of a child, both class D crimes. He also faces a Class C felony terrorizing charge.

Couture stood silently beside his attorney, John Martin of Skowhegan, as Judge Patrick Ende reminded them that Couture faces up to five years in prison on the terrorizing charge alone. Couture is free on $5,000 cash bail and prohibited from carrying any deadly weapons or having contact with Jamie Merrill, the driver of the other vehicle.

Dwayne LaBrecque, 48, of Hartford, said his wife Jamie has been badly shaken by the incident. He said she was on her way to pay a bill on the afternoon of Dec. 10 and to go shopping in Farmington with a friend and their two young children when Couture allegedly pulled up behind them in a red Dodge truck.

As Merrill entered a reduced speed zone on Route 4 in Jay, she slowed down, but the driver apparently did not, nearly rear-ending them. According to LaBrecque, when the driver of the truck maneuvered past them, Merrill’s passenger shouted, “Gun! He’s got a gun!”

LaBrecque said his wife did not initially see the weapon, but as she made her way into Wilton, the truck pulled alongside her and the driver reportedly pointed the gun at them again. He continued to follow them into Farmington, where he allegedly flashed the weapon a third time.

The women called police and turned into a Burger King parking lot off of U.S. Route 2 in Farmington. The driver of the truck pulled into the adjacent Wal-Mart parking lot and went behind the store out of sight. When police arrived, LaBrecque said an officer waited with the women while others pursued the driver of the truck.

Police later told LaBrecque that after they stopped the driver of the truck, they found his infant son strapped in the backseat and a gun.

Though they did not know Couture before the encounter, LaBrecque said his family is worried after learning more about him. In the weeks since Couture’s release on bail, LaBrecque said he’s seen the distinctive red truck pass their rural home on three separate occasions, the last time in mid-January. He could not see who was driving, but the driver honked the horn as the truck went by.

“Why is he blowing his horn at our house? How did he even find out where we lived?” LaBrecque asked. “It’s at a point where we don’t feel safe letting our children run around without them being right under our thumbs.”

Kate McCormick — 861-9218

[email protected]

Twitter: @KateRMcCormick

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