It was a story that made news around the world: An enraged Oregon driver smashed up a car with his bare hands and attacked the two women inside. But prosecutors now suspect parts of the story were as fictional as the exploits of the Incredible Hulk. Jay Barbeau, who had been in jail since the alleged June 1 incident, was released Monday after District Attorney John Hummel dropped the charges, saying he had "no confidence" in the credibility of Megan Stackhouse and Lucinda Mann, the two women who said they were assaulted by the 48-year-old man after they squeezed in front of his vehicle in heavy traffic in Bend, the Oregonian reports. "He really never once struck any of those women," said Casey Baxter, a lawyer for Barbeau. "The entire event was a terrible lie that turned into international condemnation."
Hummel said Barbeau had admitted tailing the women's vehicle and punching the window, for which he "served 11 days in jail and received national ridicule and condemnation ... this is more than enough punishment.” Baxter said her client had been angered when the women, leaving a cider festival, almost slammed into his truck and repeatedly flipped off him and his wife. Hummel said witnesses did not support Mann's claim that Barbeau threw her to the ground or Stackhouse's claim that he broke her arm, the Bend Bulletin reports. The district attorney said that just a few days ago, Mann deliberately threw herself on the hood of a car after drinking with Stackhouse—and that days after the Barbeau incident, Mann was charged with punching a woman in the face after crashing into her car on Mother's Day.