Indiana man with distinctive truck gets probation for West Loop road rage case

George Novak | CPD

A Valparaiso, Indiana, man who allegedly threatened another driver with a handgun during a West Loop road rage incident last year has received probation.

Police said a male driver reported being cut off by 60-year-old George Novak as the two drove on the Kennedy Expressway on the afternoon of Aug. 28, 2019. Both drivers exited at Lake Street, and the alleged victim got out to confront Novak.

“What’s your problem?” the man asked. “You cut me off.”

At that point, Novak allegedly pointed a silver revolver at him and said, “If I were you, I’d get back in your f*cking car.”

The other driver did exactly that before calling in a description of Novak’s vehicle to police: a maroon pick-up truck with a lift kit and a Confederate flag on the back. Police said they found the truck nearby and pulled Novak over.

Officers reportedly saw the handle of a gun sticking out of Novak’s waistband as they spoke with him. They said he admitted to being involved in a traffic altercation, but he said he only displayed the gun’s handle during the confrontation. Police found a metal tin in Novak’s truck that contained over 100 rounds of ammunition, but the gun itself was not loaded.

In a deal with prosecutors, Novak agreed to plead guilty to one count of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in exchange for a one-year probation sentence. The state dropped four additional weapons counts and an aggravated assault charge in the agreement.

Judge Peggy Chiampas oversaw the case.

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