‘Sheep dog’ gets 3 years for road rage incident

The heavily-armed man who styled himself as a “sheep dog” during a road-rage incident with a trucker near Platte City last year has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Tyler Bates

Tyler Bates

Tyler Bates, 25, of Richmond, Mo., pleaded guilty in late March and was sentenced last month by Platte County Circuit Court judge Thomas Fincham. Bates received three years apiece for two felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon, with the terms set to run concurrently.

Bates remained in custody at the Platte County Detention Center on $100,000 cash-only bond since his arrest last October. According to court documents, the Platte County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a truck driver on Interstate 29 just north of Highway 92 on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.

The driver of the tractor trailer reported a station wagon — driven by Bates — passed him on the shoulder, pulled in front of him and decelerated, twice, almost causing a crash. Bates then rolled down his window to show a handgun, which he pointed at the driver of the truck, according to his statement. When the victim called police, he followed the Volvo and exited at Highway 92, attempting to get the license plate number of the car. Bates allegedly then pulled what looked like an AR-15 rifle from the back seat and brandished it, while appearing to put on a vest.

Police located Bates and the victim near Kentucky Avenue in Platte City. Bates was immediately detained and told police not to search his car because he had guns in it.

During a search of the station wagon, police found an AR-15 rifle in the back seat, a 40-caliber handgun in the driver’s side door, another 40-caliber handgun in the glove box and yet another AR-15 in the back of the station wagon. All weapons were loaded. Police also found the ballistic vest he was witnessed removing, a ghillie suit, binoculars, ammunition, hand held radios and other items.

At the Sheriff’s Office, Bates told police a different version of the story, stating the tractor trailer almost ran him off the road. He also told police he occasionally worked in Kansas as an unlicensed bounty hunter and was a “sheep dog, not a wolf.”

When confronted with the victim’s statement, Bates recanted his story, admitting he became angry when the truck cut him off.