BEND, Ore. - (Update: Comments from Barbeau after release from jail)
A Redmond man walked out of the Deschutes County Jail late Monday afternoon, 11 days after being arrested on assault charges stemming from an alleged Bend road rage incident and hours after District Attorney John Hummel announced he was dropping the charges due to the alleged victim's lack of credibility.
Jay Barbeau wore a black hat, white T-shirt and jeans as he was released shortly before 5 p.m. He told NewsChannel 21’s Pedro Quintana it felt great to be freed.
“If I could back flip, I’d do it right now," Barbeau said with a smile and chuckle.
He said it’s unfortunate the whole incident happened but that he's going to find some positives out of the whole situation.
Barbeau said it was his first criminal allegation, and the first time he's been locked up.
He said jail was an interesting experience, and he met some inmates that he believes he can make a difference for.
“I met some young man in here that maybe I can help out a little bit,” he said.
Barbeau said he might mentor one inmate from the Salem after after his release.
Barbeau’s attorney, Casey Baxter, delivered the good news to Barbeau in jail Monday morning. He said Barbeau become emotional and started to break down crying.
NewsChannel 21 asked Barbeau what that moment meant to him.
“I was up against 280 months (if convicted)," he said. "I had multiple counts against me, so I didn’t know what was going on.” Barbeau said.
Barbeau said he relied on his faith and his family support to get him through, and that he’s going to try to move on from the whole ordeal.
“I don’t have any anger towards them," he said of his accusers. "I’m upset they did what they did. I’m upset that the whole thing happened the way that it did. I hope that we can clear everything up, as far as my reputation and everything else going forward. I just hope that never happens to anybody else.”
Barbeau said he couldn't believe that this road rage incident made headlines around the country and even overseas.
“When I heard about that, I was really surprised, but shocked -- 'No, this can’t be happening.' So my immediate thought was, 'What am I going to do? What’s going to happen with my life? What's going to happen to my wife, my animals, my kids? My boys are grown, their dad is in jail, I look like a loser, it’s now all over the place.'"
Hummel said the statements by alleged victim Megan Stackhouse were not credible and that she faces charges as the alleged perpetrator in another recent road rage case.
As investigators looked into the woman's background, “what I learned was significant and troubling,” Hummel told reporters at a news conference.
Here's the statement Hummel issued, in full.
"The public was informed that on June 1, 2018 Jay Allen Barbeau committed a horrific act. The public was told that Barbeau had intentionally broken a women’s arm because he was upset she cut him off in traffic. The public was also told that Barbeau assaulted the woman’s passenger.
"Upon further scrutiny, these allegations cannot be sustained; therefore, Deschutes District Attorney John Hummel filed a motion with the court to dismiss the case.
"Here’s what we know:
· On June 1, 2018, Megan Stackhouse pulled her car in front of Jay Barbeau’s car in a dangerous manner. This upset Barbeau, who started aggressively following Stackhouse.
· Barbeau followed Stackhouse for 1.1 miles, eventually getting out of his car and quickly walking up to Stackhouse’s car.
· When Barbeau got to Stackhouse’s car, he punched the rear window – shattering it.
· Stackhouse’s passenger, Lucinda Mann, got out of her car and quickly went to the ground. Mann said she was thrown to the ground by Barbeau and suffered a serious injury. Medical records contradict her claim.
· Stackhouse says Barbeau grabbed her wrist and twisted it, which caused a broken bone. Barbeau denies grabbing Stackhouse’s wrist. Barbeau’s wife says Stackhouse slammed her own arm on Barbeau’s truck. When the police arrived, Stackhouse was on the running board of Barbeau’s truck.
"Investigation into Mann and Stackhouse’s background and credibility returned significant and troubling results:
· On June 7, 2018, Mann and Stackhouse were drinking at 10 Barrel brewery. When they left, Mann intentionally threw herself onto the hood of a car in the road and then flopped to the ground.
· On May 13, 2018, Stackhouse struck another car and then punched the driver, a 55-year-old Bend woman. Stackhouse was charged with this assault and the matter is pending.
· On November 26, 2017, Stackhouse and Mann reported to police that Mann was struck by a van while she was walking in the parking lot of Timbers Tavern.
· On October 31, 2016, Mann and Stackhouse were passengers in a car that was involved in a single-vehicle, low-speed crash. When police arrived, Mann was found lying on the road with shallow breathing and acting unconscious. The police determined her actions were not consistent with injuries she would have received in the crash.
Hummel concluded with this statement:
“My job as district attorney is to seek justice, not convictions. I have no confidence in the credibility of Mann and Stackhouse. Mann’s claimed injuries in the Barbeau case were debunked by the medical records. While Stackhouse did suffer a broken bone in her wrist, there are competing claims as to how her injury occurred, and based on her lack of credibility, I cannot stand behind her version of events.
"Barbeau’s acts of chasing after Stackhouse in his car and punching her window were outrageous and unacceptable. For this, he served 11 days in jail and received national ridicule and condemnation for intentionally breaking a woman’s wrist – charges that are now being dismissed. This is more than enough punishment.”