EDITOR’S NOTE: Maury County district attorney Brent Cooper says a no true bill was returned by a grand jury in May, dismissing the case.
SPRING HILL, Tenn. (WKRN) — A Spring Hill man has been arrested after what the Maury County sheriff calls a “volatile situation” in a construction work zone.
It happened on Dec. 2, while a Maury County Highway Department Crew was on a narrow stretch of Sugar Ridge Road in Spring Hill.
The crew was repairing a culvert.
County officials confirm that multiple notifications were made to residents and first responders weeks in advance. Officials told News 2, signs warning of the temporary closure were also visible.
On the morning of December 2nd, work crews blocked off both lanes of traffic while unloading their track hoe. Traffic came to a stop while this took place.
A driver, identified as 48-year-old Michael Ulm reportedly got out of his Ford F-250 with a flatbed and approached the work crew.
According to the sheriff’s department incident report, the Spring Hill man began yelling and cussing at the workers, telling them “they were not the only ones who had to work today.”
According to the report, Ulm got very close to the supervisor, while continuing to curse.
According to the report, Ulm got in the supervisor’s face, “his hands balled into fists as though he was going to punch him.”
The supervisor told the investigating deputy his actions did place him in fear of bodily injury.
“They get berated and cursed every day when out flagging or working traffic, and it is not acceptable,” said Maury County Sheriff Bucky Rowland. “It should not be okay, but this went a step further and put people’s lives in danger.”
On the deputy’s bodycam, you can hear the men describing what Ulm allegedly said.
“He gets out of the truck cussin, just raising hell, waving his hands jumping up and down, acting a d*** fool.”
“Anytime you put them in fear of their safety, that is an assault on that person,” said Sheriff Rowland.
According to workers at the site, Ulm got back in his truck and raced through the work zone at speeds approaching 50 mph, knocking traffic cones out of the street.
“He came by us wide a** open,” one worker said. “He swerved over, and I think he purposely hit our cones. He may have been trying to hit us.”
News 2 went to Ulm’s house for comment, but the 48-year-old was not home.
According to the police report, Ulm talked to the deputy and admitted to driving faster than he meant to.
According to the report, Ulm said, “He was headed to work driving outbound on Sugar Ridge when he came to the construction. Ulm said that the workers had blocked the whole road even though there was enough space to allow cars to drive through one side at a time.”
According to the report, “Ulm said that he may have driven his truck through a bit faster than he meant to, but he did not think it was reckless.”
He also denied getting into the supervisor’s face during the incident.
“It just takes a second for someone’s life and your family to be changed forever, multiple families to be changed forever, this could have been one of those incidents,” Sheriff Rowland said.
Ulm is facing charges for simple assault and reckless driving.