ELIZABETHTOWN, KY (WAVE) - A Fort Knox sergeant is going on the offensive after being charged with a crime she says she didn’t commit.
Police charged Kai Waters, 33, with felony assault in connection to a road rage incident in Elizabethtown in February.
Waters says she now has proof that she was not the aggressor. She spoke with WAVE 3 News, claiming Elizabethtown police who arrived on scene assumed she was the attacker because of her age and race before looking at all the evidence.
Waters alleges the woman she stabbed followed her to a gas station and then attacked her.
The native of Chicago told WAVE 3 News what her life was like eight months ago, when she was moving to Hardin County from New York to take a job for which she was recruited.
“Oh I was happy, it was like the happiest day of my life,” Waters said.
The Sergeant First Class said the job at Fort Knox helping soldiers is something she dreamed of doing. But she feels differently now.
“I’m worried,” she said. “I’m concerned, I’m scared and I’m terrified.”
That’s because Waters now has a mugshot and a felony charge.
Around 5 p.m. on Feb. 22, 2019, Waters said she was headed home on Patriot Parkway. Waters said she noticed a woman driving aggressively behind her as well as another car and Waters said the woman clearly wanted them out of the fast lane.
“She started honking her horn and pulled next to me,” Waters said.
Waters said with her windows down, the woman started shouting racial slurs at her.
“She called me a black b----, and said ‘your kind,’" Waters said. “She said, ‘I’m so tired of your people’ and all this.”
Waters said the woman bumped her car, so she called 911 and pulled over at a busy gas station off Cardinal Drive where people could see what was happening instead of continuing on to her home.
In the store’s surveillance video, Waters’ attorney Jeremy Aldridge pointed out where Waters pulls up with the other woman following. One can see Waters’ door open, and the lady come around to confront her before Waters gets out of the car.
Waters said she was still on the phone with the 911 operator when the woman came up to her car and started punching her.
“I told her you know I’m on the phone with the 911,” Waters said. ”The operator can hear you.”
Waters said she grabbed a knife given to her as a military honor and jabbed the woman in the leg in self defense. After the woman was stabbed, she’s seen in the video continuing to go after Waters as the two appear to be going back and forth.
When Elizabethtown Police arrived, Waters said she was still on the phone with 911 and the woman started crying for help. Waters claims officers put her in the back of a police cruiser and would not listen to her version of the story.
“I thought hopefully, someone is going to listen to me, they’re going to get my story,” she said. “But that never happened.”
Aldridge said the video seems to show a clear case of road rage on the part of the other woman.
“I trust that the grand jury would have a very difficult time indicting her (Waters) based on the conduct that is provable by the video,” he said.
A spokesman for the Elizabethtown Police Department told WAVE 3 News the investigation is complete and they won’t comment on the accusations made by Waters.
As for the 58-year-old woman who police say is the victim in this case, she told WAVE 3 News she wants the opportunity to tell her side of the story -- but because she is a witness, her attorney told her she must wait until the case is over.
Waters filed a complaint against the woman but says police did not act on it. The Hardin County Commonwealth Attorney said a grand jury will soon decide if Waters should be indicted or not.
Waters is temporarily off the job she was hired for at Fort Knox while the case is pending. Without a full dismissal, she could be charged by the Army later.
She took to Facebook to share her side of the story along with the surveillance video and has gotten a lot of support. (story continues below)
But ultimately, the court will decide her fate.
“This whole situation has pretty much destroyed my whole career and my whole life,” she said.
Fort Knox LTC Alicia Masson sent WAVE 3 News the following statement on behalf of Waters:
“SFC Waters is a professional and was chosen from our entire field to come to Fort Knox and represent our Corps after an intense vetting process. She is a trusted leader and this turn of events is in total contradiction to her performance and character. I understand the police department has a job to do but now that the truth is seen by video that our Soldier was attacked, I hope there will be swift correction to this situation and her rights returned. I stand behind her and am anxious for justice.”