Archive for Thursday, November 1, 2007

Attack haunts mother, family

Basehor resident suffers two broken arms in road rage incident

November 1, 2007

Basehor resident Angie Genail and her family are still haunted by what began as a normal drive home from a soccer game last month.

According to Basehor Police reports, the incident originally was reported as a hit and run, but authorities later found out it was an instance of road rage -- one that escalated into a vicious attack, leaving Angie Genail with two broken arms and her husband, David Genail, with an injured nose.

What upsets Angie Genail the most, she said, is that the couple's three young children, ages 5, 7 and 8, were witnesses to the attack.

The family was on its way home from a soccer game Saturday, Oct. 20, when they came up behind a westbound vehicle they thought was driving erratically on Leavenworth Road. Angie said they became concerned and David, who was driving the Genail's vehicle, began honking the horn at the driver.

"We were concerned because our three kids were in the car," Angie said. "We wanted to make it a point to him that we have kids in the car and he can't be doing that."

Police reports and Genail said they were involved in two different altercations with the driver of the other vehicle, Robert Leroy Garrison. The first time the occupants of the two cars exchanged words; the second time the situation turned violent.

Witnesses reported that when Garrison stopped at the intersection of Leavenworth Road and 155th Street, he got out of his vehicle, approached the driver's side of the Genail's vehicle and punched David in the face. Then, witnesses said, Angie got out of the vehicle.

"I didn't know if he was coming back to bust the windows out of my car; I just didn't know," Angie said about why she exited the vehicle. "I just wanted whatever was going to happen at the front of my car to stop."

Angie and witnesses said Garrison picked Angie up and threw her to the ground twice, shattering bones in both of her arms. She was later transported by air ambulance to KU Medical Center.

Basehor Police Chief Terry Horner said 39-year-old Garrison was a fairly large man, about 6 feet tall and 230 pounds.

Garrison of Kansas City, Mo., was interviewed by police and arrested for misdemeanor battery and felony aggravated battery, Horner said.

"During the investigation, police were shocked at the injuries sustained as a result of this road rage incident," Horner wrote in his newspaper column.

A week and a half after the attack, Angie said she is not doing well. She was released from the hospital Monday, she said, after extensive reconstructive surgery to repair the damage to both of her arms, which she described as "gravel in the bottom of a fish tank."

The screws and rods in her arms will be removed in 10 months, she said.

David has returned to work, but Angie remains at home with both arms immobilized and in a lot of pain.

"I don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to handle it," Angie said about coping with her situation.

The Genails have lived in Basehor for two years and have always felt safe in the area. Angie said she still can't believe something like this happened, but she said it seemed as if Garrison was under the influence of some substance during the incident.

"He was definitely on something at the time," she said. "There was just an empty body in front of me. There was no person in there, no emotion in there; there was nothing. He could've cared less what he did to anybody. It was just blank and hollow and cold."

While the Genails plan to take full legal action and have a Dec. 6 court date, Angie said she is angry because Garrison already has been released from jail.

A representative from the Leavenworth County Victim/Witness Assistance Office kept her informed of Garrison's status, she said, and his original bail amount was lowered several times before he posted it himself and was released. A call to the Victim/Witness coordinator was not immediately returned.

"I can't even use my arms for six to nine weeks and he's out using both of his tonight," Angie said.

As for her children, Angie said she is worried about how the incident might have affected them.

"How do you explain it to them?" Angie said. "We were supposed to be on our way to Worlds of Fun; on our way home from soccer, pack up and go to Worlds of Fun, and they never got that."

"He (Garrison) is the last man my son sees before he goes to sleep and the first man he sees right before he wakes up," she said, holding back a sob.

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