Former officer says he was unnerved by road rage incident, other drivers contacting him
Former Mount Pleasant police Lt. Shawn Livingston said he was unnerved to learn a stranger had used motor vehicle records to track him down over a traffic confrontation they had in October.
Livingston said he did nothing to provoke the other driver, a Charleston County Auditor’s Office employee, and was stunned when he received a letter at his home from the man.
“He could have easily come to my house with a gun,” Livingston, who now heads the criminal justice studies program at Trident Technical College, said in an email.
Charleston County sheriff’s deputies on Tuesday arrested 69-year-old Theodore Cammer of Hanahan for allegedly violating his access to state Department of Motor Vehicles records. He is charged with using confidential information by a public employee.
Cammer told The Post and Courier on Wednesday that his arrest stemmed from his being on the receiving end of Livingston’s road rage Oct. 3 while driving on Ashley Avenue.
Cammer said Livingston grew irate and shook his fist at him because he thought Cammer had made an improper turn. He said Livingston claimed to be a law enforcement officer and said, “I’m off duty now, but you wait until tomorrow,’” Cammer said.
Livingston said that isn’t close to what happened. He said he never even spoke to Cammer during the episode.
Livingston, 44, said the incident occurred just after he picked up his 8-year-old son from school. He said Cammer’s vehicle drifted from the left lane into the right and nearly struck Livingston’s Lexus.
“I tapped my horn because I thought that perhaps I was in his blind spot and he didn’t see me,” Livingston said. “Apparently he became incensed by my action. As I came to a stop at the next light he approached me on the driver’s side and proceeded to verbally assault me with a profanity-laced diatribe.”
Livingston said his son started to cry and, when the light turned green, he went around slower traffic to get out of the situation. Cammer continued to follow, riding close on his bumper, further upsetting his son. Livingston said.
Livingston said he finally got away and thought the incident was over until the letter from Cammer arrived at his Charleston home. That prompted Livingston to call the sheriff’s office.
Cammer, who is now retired, told The Post and Courier he recorded Livingston’s tag number, looked him up in DMV records and sent him the letter “just to let him know that he was wrong.” That was all there was to it, he said.
Livingston said he regrets the incident ended with Cammer’s arrest. But he said it appears Cammer’s actions breached his duty to act ethically as a public official.
“I did learn an important lesson and that is to ignore the actions of other drivers and to drive defensively,” Livingston said. “I can only hope that Mr. Cammer takes responsibility for his actions and he conducts his affairs more appropriately.”
Reach Glenn Smith at 937-5556 or Twitter.com/glennsmith5.