A Bend woman who generated global headlines as the victim in a brutal alleged road rage attack last weekend was charged Friday as the aggressor in a separate alleged road rage incident.
Megan Lea Stackhouse, 34, was charged Friday in Deschutes County Circuit Court with fourth-degree assault for allegedly punching a woman in the face after twice crashing into her on Mother’s Day.
Stackhouse is the former president of the Human Dignity Coalition in Bend. She and her fiancee, Lucinda Mann, have accused Jay Allen Barbeau, 49, of Redmond, of beating Stackhouse in the head and breaking her arm with his bare hands, and knocking Mann unconscious by throwing her to the ground.
Stackhouse told The Bulletin earlier this week it was “one of the most horrific experiences” of her life.
Barbeau faces charges that include second-degree assault, first-degree criminal mischief and reckless driving.
But in May, Stackhouse is said to have been the one who lashed out violently and terrified another driver, according to court records. Her alleged victim in that case, Cheryl Norton, told The Bulletin on Friday she was shocked when she read Stackhouse had been a road rage victim to a man with no prior criminal history. Norton said the woman who crashed into her on Mother’s Day and punched her in the face was “imposing and very aggressive.”
Friday afternoon, Deschutes District Attorney John Hummel formally charged Stackhouse with misdemeanor assault.
“Victim in one road rage case, defendant in another,” he said. “I know it’s odd.”
At 5:54 p.m. on May 13, Bend Police responded to a call of a crash and assault outside an apartment complex in south Bend.
Norton told The Bulletin she was pulling into her daughter’s apartment complex at Blakely Road and Porter Place when Stackhouse T-boned her car.
Stackhouse refused to give Norton her insurance information, then drove off, but came back and rear-ended her car, Norton said.
“She was being very abusive and very loud with me,” said Norton, 55.
At one point, Stackhouse walked up and punched Norton in the left side of her face, Norton said.
Reached Friday, Stackhouse said Norton was lying.
“I did not do that,” Stackhouse said.
Stackhouse said she called police that day, and it was Norton who fled the scene.
Stackhouse said Friday she did not want to discuss the Mother’s Day incident and that it was irrelevant to what happened June 1.
“I feel like I’m being slandered here,” she said. “I have not been convicted.”
Stackhouse was cited with assault at the scene, according to Lt. Clint Burleigh of the Bend Police Department.
Stackhouse is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Deschutes County Circuit Court.
Norton said Stackhouse’s insurance has since paid to repair the $5,000 in damage to her vehicle.
Last week’s road rage incident took place blocks away from where hundreds were thronging to Avid Cider’s annual carnival. At about 8 p.m., Stackhouse and Mann were leaving the event, and Jay Barbeau and his wife were leaving McMenamin’s Old St. Francis pub.
Both parties have said they were trying to get away from crowded areas.
Stackhouse told The Bulletin that after “squeezing” in front of Barbeau’s truck on Bond Street, he aggressively tailed her 2015 Kia Soul.
She said she stopped twice to let Barbeau go around, but he angrily approached their car. He broke the back window and attacked Stackhouse through her driver’s side window, striking her in the head and grabbing and twisting her arm so hard it snapped her radius bone, she said.
In her first public interview, Barbeau’s wife, Laura, conceded Friday they did follow Stackhouse and Mann, and her husband did break the rear window and his hands did enter the driver’s window. But she said the rest of what Stackhouse and Mann told police isn’t true, starting with what triggered the incident.
Rather than squeezing into traffic, Stackhouse hopped a curb and nearly slammed into their truck, Laura Barbeau said. Stackhouse and Mann flipped off the Barbeaus and stopped suddenly numerous times, Laura Barbeau said.
She said her husband never struck either woman.
Instead, Mann attempted to jump on Jay Barbeau, but fell to the ground feigning injury, Laura Barbeau said.
Laura Barbeau claims Stackhouse broke her arm by slamming it on the hood of her husband’s truck. Laura Barbeau said the impact created dents in the plastic on the front of their truck. She said she neglected to raise the fact to the interviewing officer.
“He was asking very direct questions,” she said.
Stackhouse admitted to striking Barbeau’s truck with her arm, but said her arm was broken by that point.
Stackhouse said she stood in front of the couple’s truck to prevent Laura Barbeau from leaving. She had moved over to the driver’s seat and was trying to get Jay Barbeau to leave.
“I thought they were going to run over my girlfriend in the middle of the street,” Stackhouse said.
Laura Barbeau defended her husband Friday.
“My husband does not hit women,” she said. “It seems to me like she’s projecting her behavior onto him.”
Jay Barbeau grew up in Vermont and lived in Happy Valley before moving to Redmond. He has two adult sons and has been married once before. He’s worked with air handling systems most of his career, most recently for BASX Solutions in Redmond. He’s housed in the Deschutes County jail and is being represented by a public defender.
His boss has discussed paying for an attorney to help him fight the charges, Laura Barbeau said.
Cheryl Norton, Stackhouse’s accuser in the Mother’s Day incident, said she’s never spoken with Laura or Jay Barbeau. She said she wanted to tell her story after reading Barbeau’s case in the news.
Stackhouse had surgery Monday to repair a broken radius. An X-ray was posted on a GoFundMe page to raise money for the couple’s medical expenses and to cover the cost of missed work. By Friday, it had raised $4,000 of its $25,000 goal.
“I am trying my best to keep my chin up, but my life has been consumed with doctors and lawyers and insurance and media,” she wrote in one update.
“Obviously, I never wanted this, so I would rather be thinking of camping, biking and kayaking, but now that just makes me sad.”
Mann claimed to have suffered a concussion and neck injury as a result of being thrown to the ground by Jay Barbeau.
“Obviously, she is going to say her husband didn’t do it,” Stackhouse said Friday. “Of course, she’s going to have a differing story; her husband just assaulted me.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org