STEPHENSON — A Frederick County driver admitted to pointing a pistol at another driver, according to police.

Robert Thomas Rissler was charged with brandishing a weapon over the incident on Martinsburg Pike (U.S. 11) and Va. 37 in Stephenson about 6:15 p.m. on Monday.

Driver Nathan Skidmore said Rissler pulled up beside him, yelled at him and pointed a holstered pistol at him, according to the criminal complaint of Deputy Travis L. Bridgeforth of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office.

Skidmore got Rissler’s license plate and photographed Rissler on his phone, according to Bridgeforth, who said the photo matched Rissler’s driver’s license photo.

Bridgeforth then questioned the 51-year-old Rissler at his home in the 1900 block of Martinsburg Pike.

“He stated Nathan was tailgating him so he did yell at him. Robert stated Nathan then started making hand gestures so he reached under his seat and displayed his gun that he keeps there,” Bridgeforth wrote. “Nathan stated he was in fear for his life when Robert displayed the firearm.”

Bridgeforth said Rissler showed him the Smith and Wesson revolver and holster. He didn’t say whether Rissler has a concealed carry permit or if the gun was seized by police.

Lt. Keith Covert, Sheriff’s Office spokesman, didn’t return calls or an email on Friday regarding the arrest.

Rissler is due in Frederick General District Court at 1 p.m. Sept. 30.

— Contact Evan Goodenow at

(2) comments


i agree. Of course cars are a privilege...not firearms. They are a civil right


Without attempting to take sides on this because I was not there, some factors that may have been in play are: tailgating is illegal and dangerous, “parking” your car in the fast lane and not yielding to those behind you is illegal. I believe if more people drove in a courteous, safe, and legal fashion, tempers in every direction might not flare quite so much. None of us drive alone on the highways and should be considerate when behind the wheel of a multi-ton bullet.

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