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Intoxicated driver fires shots at witnesses, police say

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who police say drove recklessly while intoxicated on I-80, and then fired several rounds at witnesses who flashed their lights at him, now faces numerous charges.

William Douglas Blattel, 49, of Sacramento, California, was charged Wednesday in 3rd District Court with three counts of attempted murder, a first-degree felony; four counts of discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony; and DUI, a class A misdemeanor.

On Monday, Blattel was speeding on I-80 through Summit County and nearly hit another vehicle in the process, according to charging documents. The three people in the vehicle that was almost hit “continued to observe reckless and dangerous driving behavior” by Blattel, who continued to drive at a high rate of speed, the charges state.

But at one point, Blattel pulled up next to the other vehicle and fired several rounds, according to charging documents. He then drove to Wyoming where he was arrested by the Wyoming Highway Patrol for traveling the wrong way on I-80, charging documents state.

“When he was stopped by Wyoming Highway Patrol, a handgun was found in the vehicle. In addition, the vehicle had four bullet holes through the driver’s side windshield and four bullet casings were found in the vehicle,” the charges state.

Two children were also in the vehicle. When troopers asked a 6-year-old girl what had happened, she said “that her dad shot out the window twice because the cars kept flashing their lights at them, so he tried to shoot them,” according to the charges.

Summit County prosecutors filed a no bail arrest warrant on Wednesday to have Blattel extradited back to Utah to face charges.

“Furthermore, the defendant has a criminal history out of California that includes violent and weapons offenses and parole violations,” the charges continued. “He has numerous parole violations out of California.”