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Man faces felony charge after court docs allege racially-charged case of road rage

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    Salem (KPTV) — A Salem man is facing a felony charge after court documents say he went on a racially-charged rant in northeast Salem.

Police say Arlen Berkey, 51, was drunk behind the wheel at the time, screaming out racists slurs while chasing down another driver.

The man being chased said he was too nervous to speak on camera about the incident, but described Berkey as aggressive.

The victim told police that Berkey was screaming out hateful words while trying to run him off the road.

He said pulling over wasn’t an option, as he was afraid of what might happen if he got out of his car.

Court documents paint a disturbing picture, saying the incident was motivated by racism.

Berkey drove toward the victim head-on with his head out the window yelling at him, and at one point, was driving on the wrong side of the road, according to court documents.

Moving fast, the victim says he put gis car in reverse, driving down the road backward as fast as he could, court documents state.

After circling the bock more than 10 times near Norway and Fourth Street, police arrived and arrested Berkey in his driveway.

According to court documents, Berkey refused to get out of his car at first, causing a physical struggle with police before being arrested.

Court documents also state that officers found beer in Berkey’s car.

FOX 12 looked into Berkey’s background and discovered he has a long criminal record, including driving with a suspended license 15 times and four previous DUIIs.

Neighbors say they are familiar with Berkey and they believe he is dangerous. They say they’re relieved that he is behind bars.

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