‘Road Rage’ Trial: Detective Interrogation Video Exclusively Obtained By CBS 2

Prosecutors: Evan Potts Admitted Using Car As A Weapon

MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It was a devastating case of an alleged road rage that made national headlines.

The student on trial, accused of killing another driver, said it was a horrible accident and that he feared for his life.

CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan obtained exclusively a video of the interrogation conducted by detectives shortly after the May 2009 incident.

As police cameras rolled detectives too the handcuffs off manslaughter suspect Evan Potts, leading him through the sequence of deadly events shortly after the road rage confrontation through the streets of Long Beach that left Ian Sharinn crushed under the car’s wheels.

“I cut him off — not intentional or anything. But, you know, I kind of cut him off, and then he was screaming at me to pull over,” Potts said on tape.

Jurors were spellbound as prosecution evidence played out on a screen inside the Nassau County Criminal Courtroom.

Potts, unaware he was under arrest, began doing exercises when detectives left the interrogation room and then described how 6-foot-5 Sharinn twice jumped out of his yellow Porsche kicking Potts’ rented Nissan.

Shortly before he ran over Sharrin, Potts dialed 9-1-1.

“I was calling 9-1-1, you know, just to tell them there’s this crazy guy, like he’s coming after me, I don’t know what to do,” Potts said. “When he got out of the little car, he looked huge, you know, and I was like totally … I was like totally scared.”

A detective asked Potts: “There’s no doubt in your mind, Evan, that you hit the guy?”

Potts responded, “I know, I know, I know that happened, but I didn’t mean to … I knew I hit him after it happened,” Potts said.

“I didn’t see myself hit him, you know? I couldn’t even tell you if he went on my hood or underneath my car. I just panicked. I tried to get away. I tried to gun it out of there.”

The detective then asked, “Did you know that, this, the man here, has passed away, okay?”

Potts: “I didn’t want to hit him. It wasn’t like I had a conscious thought process, like ‘oh well, I hit him. I can get away.’”

The detectives left Potts alone in the room where he began sobbing uncontrollably, and eventually fell to the floor.

Potts was held for 13 hours, arrested and arraigned the next day in Long Beach.

The trial resumes Tuesday and is expected to last well into June. Nassau prosecutors and the victim’s family said the videotape clearly shows Potts admitting to using his car — without justification — to take the life of a vulnerable man.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

More from Jennifer McLogan
  • Justice Shrugged

    Seriously, what type of heartless people comment on this board?!? A guy driving a rental car like he stole it runs over a man while staring into his eyes at a stop light and you think there should not even be a case? Wow man, I’m floored. Have you no idea how a civilized society works!

    • sbs

      Absolutely nothing civilized about the behavior of the man accidently hit by the defendant — who clearly was scared for his life.

  • H Mitchell

    It floors me that money is being wasted on this trial. Everyone one of us has made a bad judgement call while driving. It happens,,,,thats why there are accidents, hence the word ACCIDENT! Ian should never gotten out of his car and just shrugged it off, but no it was his “porsche”. Something very like what happened to Evan happened to my son a few weeks ago. My son was changing lanes and the jerk behind sped up to try to stop him from getting over. How many times has this happened to all of us? Well the other driver went off like a crazed person. He also got out of his car (he was huge, my son is 5’5″ 130 lb) and started banging on my sons window and tried to open the door. My son had enough sense to call 911 right away and was able to get away from the guy with no injury to either. Evan, like any of us feared for his life. This was an accident. Im sorry for Ians family, Evan will live with this for the rest of his life! I think that is as good as time served.

    • I agree with H. Mitchell

      H. Mitchell, I could not agree with you more. This is horribly unfortunate, but Evan will live with this for the rest of his life, and that is horrendous. And it would be more horrific if Evan had to do jail time.

      • susan singley

        So true. Pathetic example of the criminal justice system.

  • Dan Marconi

    The kid is definitely innocent
    i am sure that all of us can all remember a day that while we are driving we made a mistake of cutting someone off by accident. Either we were thinking of something else or just not paying attention. But we hope that that mistake would never rile the other driver like happened to Evan. We hope the the other driver would just realize that it was a mistake and that the only thing they would do would give us a honk of their horn.But it seems that Evan got much, much more than that. He got the driver to take chase. That has to be one the most terrifying things to happen. What do you do? Where do you go? Do you worry about getting stuck at a light? Do begin to fear about what will happen if the driver catches up to me? And then what will happen to me? Where do I go?
    During this time we would all get more scared, and then just like Evan, our greatest fear comes true, we get boxed in, and the other driver gets out of his car. Again what does one do? Our fear would greatly increase! Is the driver going to do bodily harm to me? He had the presence to call 911. But he also needed to get away. The sad part while getting away he ran the man over. One can see, he did not intentionally run him over, he just tried to get away. I hope the jury sees it that way.

    • Back to reality

      According to the witness testimony I read in a local online paper, from the guy that was behind Evan’s car at the light, the Porsche driver pulled up at the light and rolled his window down to say something. That doesn’t sound like he was hunting him. Probably if they weren’t at the same light, it wouldn’t have happened. It’s a nice story you have, but it doesn’t fit anything that I’ve read in the news. It went from “Dude why’d you almost destroy my car aren’t you paying attention? To him throwing something at the Porsche driver, then heckling him, then mysteriously feeling his life is threatened to running him over in about 30 seconds.) If he made a right to get away from the Porsche driver, why in the world did he come back. There’s a hundred ways away from the scene and only one way back.

  • Sad day but Potts is wrong

    From what I read, Potts was throwing things at the guys car, and even returned to the scene to heckle him again. This was purely a case of two guys getting hot, but Potts was the one who started it (cutting him off), got it to escalate by pushing the guys buttons, and then ran him over and killed him. Did the guy getting out the car make an unwise move? Yes, but the other guy KILLED him. So which move is worse?

    • What do you know about it?

      So according to you, “Sad day,” Potts picked a random guy out of the passing cars on the street, deliberately cut him off just to be able to “heckle” him and throw stuff at him to incite the man to chase him so that it could all end with the man’s death? that’s a pretty elaborate theory you have there. that’s ridiculous. If I had someone chasing me with their car, I might try to get them to go away too by throwing things at them . Even if that action makes the chasing, raging irrational man call the police, that would be better than having to deal with this lunatic on my own. Your theory sounds really far fetched.

      • JM

        I don’t think he’s saying Potts deliberately cut him off. It sounds like he does it so often that it’s just his driving style. A real true jerk at the wheel.

  • voice of reason

    Any political motivation underlying this prosecution? Cannot help but wonder. Shame on the prosecutors.

    • Conspiracy l0v3r

      You mean the motivation for public prosecutors to prosecute people who kill other people. I know it’s crazy, a whole conspiracy wrapped up in an enigma. I think you’re on to something. Please elaborate

  • sbs

    Cannot help but wonder what political motivation underlies the prosecution here. Shame on those who made that decision and are carrying it out!

  • Get the facts straight

    Guys. Ian didn’t touch the car, only Potts claims that. Witnesses do NOT say that at all. Potts is a killer with no remorse for his dangerous driving or his slaying of an innocent man trying to get people like Potts off the road.

    • Eric

      you’ve got to be kidding me?? He obviously had NO intention of killing the guy, this could have happened to anyone. You think he should be in jail for manslaughter because he’s not a good driver???

      • Get the facts straight

        No, he should be in jail for running a man over after he threw items at Ian’s car during the period in which he was allegedly “scared to death.” Oh and taunting him by returning to the confrontation, again doesn’t sound too scared to me. When a guy is standing right in front of your car (not near the driver window, not near the passenger window RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE CAR) and he has no weapon, you have no right to run him over.

        His story changed during the nterrogation. He’s lying because he knows deep in his heart he wanted to prove to the big man that he’s a tough guy, and hit the accelerator and watched his body get sucked under the car, continue to drive over him without remorse and deliberately and run away! If the samaritan wasn’t there to stop Potts, he would have ditched the car, and disappeared.

        So, no he’s not being jailed because he’s a bad driver, he’s being jailed because HE KILLED A MAN IN COLD BLOOD. A final blow to prove his manliness to the world, now it’s time to do your time.

      • Note to "Get the facts straight"

        I’m sorry, but it’s funny that you mention anything about proving manliness because it’s that kind of mentality that got the poor man who’s now dead to chase someone down for blocks, threatening the kid all the way, blowing red lights and driving dangerously in order to get people like that off the road (really?), but sadly wound up dead in the process. It wasn’t Sharrin’s job to do that — unless he’s a self-appointed vigilante type, which only further bolsters Potts’ story that Sharrin was threatening his life. So I gotta say, I don’t understand your logic or argument or anything you’re saying actually.

    • Rhiannon

      there are pictures, from the police impound, showing a foot print on the door of the car…how can he just “only claim that” when there are pictures. Get your facts straight

  • Roy

    I would never find this poor kid guilty. It was clearly the fault of the victim,he was a loud mouth bully,and trying to intimidate this young man.In addition he kicked his car numerous times……………….I feel bad for the victims family,but fair is fair,and this kid should be exonerated………….

  • cactus02

    In some states they never would have prosecutted this, it would have been dismissed as self devence. Mr. Sharrin had the size on this kid and could have killed him with one or two strikes to the head. In western states he could have been shot instead of run over.

  • Mr. Morality

    Why is this teenager being charged.

    Look at the last name of the person who started the road rage. That should answer your questions.

  • Raging Bull

    The Porsche driver was probably a Long Island serial killer based on his road rage behavior.

  • Defensive Driver

    The crazy guy tailgated him for blocks and was kicking his car in a threatening manner. He feared for his life. He called 911 to report this crazy guy and he admitted to cops he didn’t want to hit him and tried to get away from the crazy guy. Case should be dismissed due to Lack of Prosecution.

  • Bill of LB

    don’t stand in front of someone’s car threatening to hurt them, than you won’t get run over.

  • badman

    Ian Sharrin was white. Probably Irish. Doesn’t make him any less responsible for his own death, but you, burnsie, are walking proof that bigots have sh1t for brains.

  • Fresh JailMeat

    Lock him away, the inmates will be fighting over each other silly to get a piece of this kids tail.

    • It's just sad

      To “Fresh JailMeat,” I guess that has happened to you and you’re wishing it on someone else because you’re angry about it. I’m sorry for you, dude.
      To all of you who don’t know the facts and judge the situation on what you perceive to have happened, and in doing so, find that this Queens College student is guilty of something malicious, I hope that you or one of your family members don’t find yourself in the same predicament one day. Accidents can have devastating and long-term horrific results, and there is no one person or thing to blame.

  • PutHim Away

    apparently, most of the people commenting do not spend much time driving on long island, where 19 yr old losers like this kid consistently race, cut off drivers, and cause accidents- he should be found guilty- if he had acted responsibly on the road, none of this would of happened.

    • Brains

      Hey, I understand your frustration but put him away? He didn’t hurt anyone when he cut the guy off. You could give him a big ticket for that if you want to teach him not to do that again but it doesn’t justify a charge of manslaughter when the victim was the one chasing him and threatening him!

      • Sorry for the young man

        Thank you Brains
        All of these so call intelligent people need a good taste of fear….then tell us what you would do after you are being persecuted.
        Wake up idiots…..a scared person is liable to do anything to preserve their existence. Please stop judging and put yourself in that encounter….if you had a gun…the guy would still be dead !!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kat28

      I live and drive on LI too and I have been completely enraged by the driving of some of the kids (and adults) on the road – that being said, the older of the two men- the adult, who should have had the wisdom of age on his side, should have called 911 and should have known better than to get out of his car. It’s the guy who attempted to “handle” the situation on his own who also acted irresponsibly and like a bully. This is a unfortunate tragic consequence to his own actions.

  • rudy yakopec

    The police should not have arrested potts.He should be commended..A public service…That sharrin lunatic could have killed a soccer mom and her children..

  • HYUI


  • Innocent

    Poor kid, I hope he is found inncoent and those desperate, career minded prosecutors crawl back under the rock they came from. The kid didn’t mean to hurt the guy let alone kill him. Anybody in that kids position who had half a brain would of done the exact same thing. The guy who died, basically killed himself.

  • badman

    if Sharinn hadn’t jumped out of his car and started kicking the kid’s car, he’d be alive today. People don’t do stuff like that unless they’re looking for a fight. It’s his own damn fault.

  • Claude

    Sounds to me like he really did panic. Who wouldn’t be frightened of a man that size who was screaming and in a rage? Why would Potts be calling 911 if he intended to run over Sharinn? It surprises me that the indictment was brought and the case made it to trial.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live