A second-degree assault charge placed against an Army sergeant has been dropped in connection to a road rage attack earlier this year.
Sgt. 1st Class Kai Waters was charged with felony assault stemming from the Feb. 22 incident that occurred at a gas station in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. According to Waters, who is Black, a white woman followed her to the gas station and attacked her.
Waters testified before the grand jury Thursday, April 18, The Washington Post reported.
“I was happy they allowed me to speak and give my side of the story, and happy they were able to see the evidence and make the best decision for my case,” she said after the testimony.
The other driver, as well as the Elizabethtown officer who investigated the case, also testified, Hardin County Commonwealth’s Attorney Shane Young told the newspaper.
The grand jury issued a “no true bill,” or no charges, as a result. Kentucky law states after that, the circuit court must clear the pending charges that were presented to the grand jury.
According to a Facebook post Waters made in March, the unnamed 58-year-old woman aggressively drove behind her and pulled up next to her.
“She called me a black b—h, and said ‘your kind,’” said Waters, who was driving from her post at Fort Knox to her home in Elizabethtown. “She said, ‘I’m so tired of your people’ and all this.”
The 33-year-old was forced to pull into a gas station when the other driver bumped her car. She dialed 911 and the driver approached the 15-year Army veteran, whose door was open, and assaulted her. In an effort to defend herself, Waters grabbed a ceremonial knife gifted to her by soldiers and stabbed the woman in the leg.
The moment was captured on a surveillance video, which Waters shared to her Facebook page. She also shared a GoFundMe campaign at the time, which has since raised more than $15,000.
Despite Water’s account, when local police arrived on the scene, she was the one who was arrested. She believed she was taken to spend three nights in jail because of her age and race.
Elizabethtown Police Chief Jamie Land has said race played no role in his officers deciding to charge Waters and not the other driver, according to The Post.
The day the jury reached a decision, he issued a statement saying, “We support the decision of our dedicated citizens serving on the grand jury and we thank them for their service and participation in the criminal justice system.”
Waters’s attorney, Jeremy Aldridge, previously said he thought the jury would “have a very difficult time indicting her” based on the surveillance footage. On Thursday, he said he was happy with the decision to drop charges.
“I’m pleased that Hardin County’s grand jury got it right, even when the police might not have, and the justice system worked in this particular case,” he said.
Aldridge plans to resubmit Waters’s complaint to the county attorney’s office “in the hopes they charge” the other driver, who has declined to comment on the case.
Still, things are still difficult for Waters. She said she had to remove her Facebook posts after getting threats.
“I’ve been harassed, threatened, my accounts hacked, my personal information shared,” she said, noting she still has to restore her security clearance after her arrest caused her to lose it and her job as a chemical, biological and radiological nuclear specialist.
“It’s not really over for me,” she said. “I’ve still got to work on fixing my records and my security clearance.”
“No matter the outcome, my life will be forever altered by this situation,” added Waters, who will not return to Elizabethtown after she was ordered to remain at Fort Knox.
She also said she hopes Hardin County would consider filing charges against the other driver. Still, she said she doesn’t hold anything against the other motorist.
“I just want her to be held accountable for her actions, but I do forgive her for what she’s done,” she said.