Joppa driver charged with assault after shots fired on I-95

A Joppa man was charged Thursday in connection with what police say was a hit-and-run accident in which shots were fired.

Maryland State Police said the accident, which involved two vehicles, occurred around 3:50 p.m. Wednesday on northbound I-95, south of the Route 152 exit. A duty officer at the Bel Air Barrack said Wednesday evening shots had been fired and an arrest had been made.


Nicholas Heider, 34, of the 1600 block of Dugan Drive in Joppa, is charged with first-degree assault and reckless endangerment in the incident, according to a news release from the state police, who said they would be checking with the Harford County State's Attorney's Office regarding other possible charges.

Electronic court records show that Heider is also charged with another reckless endangerment charge, having a handgun in a vehicle, second-degree assault and the use of a firearm in a felony violent crime.


A call was initially received that one driver said another had possibly fired three shots in the direction of his vehicle following a disagreement near Exit 67 over the right-of-way between the two drivers, according to the news release.

After the dispute, the drivers began to cut each other off and gesturing at one another, according to the release, and after the incident, the driver who had allegedly been shot at gave state police troopers Heider's license plate number.

On the Harford County 9-1-1 tape obtained by WMAR-TV, the driver who said he was shot at told the operator the driver of the other vehicle had hit his vehicle and when he pulled along side and asked him to pull over to exchange information, the other driver pulled out "a black handgun" and shot at his front tire.

The 9-1-1 caller, who said he wasn't injured, told the operator he followed the assailant's vehicle off the Joppatowne exit of I-95 onto Route 152 but "he took off." The operator asked the caller to go to the Wawa on Route 152 and wait for state police assistance.

Hear the complete 9-1-1 tape.

Troopers and Harford County sheriff's deputies worked together on the incident and Heider was found at his home, according to the news release, where he surrendered around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.

After obtaining a search warrant for the residence, troopers found a semi-automatic handgun, according to state police.

No one was injured, according to the release, and troopers could not find any proof that a vehicle had been struck by gunfire. The investigation is ongoing.


Heider posted $50,000 bond Thursday, according to online court records.

Check back with with updates on this developing story.