A U.S. Army sergeant said she is “terrified” after she was charged with a crime she says she didn’t commit.
Sergeant First Class Kai Waters faces a felony assault charge in connection to a road rage incident in Elizabethtown, Ky., earlier this year, local station WAVE 3 reported. The incident ended with Waters’ arrest after she stabbed a woman she claims followed her to a gas station and attacked her.
Although Elizabethtown Police have painted her as the aggressor, Waters said she only acted in self-defense.
“This whole situation has pretty much destroyed my whole career and my whole life,” she told the station.
In a Facebook post, Waters said she was driving home on Feb. 22 when she noticed a woman driving aggressively behind her. She said it was clear the woman wanted her and another driver to move out of the fast lane.
“She started honking her horn and pulled next to me,” Waters recalled.
That’s when she said the woman rolled down her window and began hurling racial slurs at her.
“She called me a black b—h, and said ‘your kind,’ “said Waters. “She said, ‘I’m so tired of your people’ and all this.”
Waters said the woman bumped her car, forcing her to pull over at a busy gas station. Surveillance footage from the store shows the moment Waters pulls up with the other woman in hot pursuit. Waters was still in her car with the door open and had already dialed 911.
She said that didn’t stop the woman from coming up to her car and assaulting her.
“I told her you know I’m on the phone with the 911,” Waters told WAVE 3, recalling the encounter. “The operator can hear you.”
That’s when the sergeant said she grabbed a knife gifted to her as a military honor and stabbed the woman in the leg with it. In the surveillance footage, the woman is seen continuing to go after Waters even after being injured.
Once Elizabethtown Police arrived on the scene, however, it was Waters, 33, who ended up in the back of a patrol car. She said she was still on the phone with 911 dispatchers when authorities arrived, and that’s when the woman started crying out for help.
According to Waters, the police immediately assumed she was the attacker because of her age and race, and refused to hear her side of the story.
“I thought hopefully, someone is going to listen to me, they’re going to get my story,” she said. “But that never happened.”
A spokesperson for the Elizabethtown Police Department said their investigation is finished and that no comments will be made regarding Waters’ allegations of mistreatment. Now, it’s up to a grand jury to decide whether or not she’ll be indicted.
Waters’ lawyer Jeremy Aldrigde said surveillance video clearly shows an act of road rage on the part of the other woman.
“I trust that the grand jury would have a very difficult time indicting her (Waters) based on the conduct that is provable by the video,” Aldridge told the station.
Waters said she filed a complaint against the woman, but authorities have yet to act on it. For now, she’s suspended from her job at Fort Knox while the case is pending and could face charges from the Army later. Still, Fort Knox leaders are standing by their soldier.
“SFC Waters is a professional and was chosen from our entire field to come to Fort Knox and represent our Corps after an intense vetting process,” Fort Knox Lt. Col. Alicia Masson said in a statement to WAVE 3. “She’s a trusted leader and this turn of events is in total contradiction to her performance and character.
“I understand the police department has a job to do,” Masson continued, “but now that the truth is seen by video that our Soldier was attacked, I hope there will be swift correction to this situation and her rights returned. I stand behind her and am anxious for justice.”
A GoFundMe campaign launched on behalf of the embattled soldier has already raised $11,000 of its $10,000 goal.
As for the 58-year-old woman who police claim is the victim in this incident, she told WAVE 3 she wants the opportunity to tell her side of the story but said her lawyer has advised her to wait until the case is resolved.
Watch more in the video below.