Idaho man arrested for pointing rifle at I-29 traffic charged with a felony

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

William R. Elders Jr. was charged with unlawful use of a weapon in Platte County on August 20 after being arrested August 19.

PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. — Authorities with the Platte County Sheriff’s Department and Missouri Highway Patrol responded to 43 calls of a man pointing a firearm at traffic on Interstate 29 shortly before 5 p.m. Tuesday. Forty-six-year-old William R. Elders Jr. of Cottonwood, Idaho was taken into custody after officers had to use a Taser to subdue him.

On Wednesday he was charged in Platte County with one count of unlawful use of a weapon, a class D felony. He’s currently being held in jail on a $35,000 cash-only bond.

The Platte County Sheriff’s Office says Elders was walking along the area of southbound I-29 about a mile north of the 273 Highway exit and allegedly pointing a rifle at passing traffic. A probable cause statement says officers arrived to the scene and found Elders with a shouldered rifle pointing it down the interstate. A deputy said Elders began a scanning motion and pointed the muzzle at a passing vehicle before he was subdued.

He was then taken to a hospital for evaluation and was later booked into the Platte County Jail. Officers said they recovered the rifle at the scene.

A check of court records in Idaho only show misdemeanor infractions where twice he was found guilty of failing to provide a driver’s license or proof of insurance and once where he was found guilty of disturbing the peace. Online records don’t show when he’s due in court to appear for the charge filed against him Wednesday.

The sheriff’s office says it doesn’t have any evidence that indicates Elders actually fired the rifle at anyone. While the investigation continues, if you witnessed Elders in the act before police arrived or know anything about the incident, you’re urged to call (816) 858-3521.

Previous coverage: