In January, in Fairfax County, Virginia, a former priest and respected anger-management counselor pulled a gun during a traffic dispute with two men who turned out to be U.S. Marshals. Fortuitously, during the altercation the U.S. Marshalls did not choose to perforate Mr. Anger Management’s anatomy with extreme prejudice.
Fifty-seven-year-old Jose Luis Avila of Annandale pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to assaulting a federal officer and received a one-year prison sentence.
Avila was driving by the marshals who were on assignment near his home. He honked his horn because he believed they were standing in the road. He then thought one of the marshals made an obscene gesture at him (the U.S. Marshalls say they were waving him to pass on by). Apparently, Avila’s anger management skills told him that was the appropriate moment to pull out a loaded handgun; predictably, the situation spiraled south for him.
Court records show that Avila has a CCW permit, issued in 2005, which Fairfax prosecutors moved to suspend. State records show that Avila has been a licensed professional counselor since 1994 and a licensed marriage and family therapist since 1998.
On top of his 12-month prison sentence, Avila has been reflecting on the wisdom of his actions from the confines of a local jail cell since January and he now has a court order to undergo… anger-management counseling.