‘It’s appalling.’ Student records video of JCCC employee threatening her in apparent road rage

Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 6:15 PM CDT
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Kan. (KCTV) - A Kansas City student captured a road rage moment with her cell phone and now questions the lack of response from the Johnson County prosecutor.

Maya Kalmus was heading to classes at Johnson County Community College more than a year ago when the incident occurred.

“I just was full of adrenaline. I was so scared” said Kalmus.

In the video, Dan Rainey yells at Kalmus to roll down her window. He begins cursing at her and threatens her. Rainey also challenges her to a fight in the JCCC parking lot.

“It’s appalling. And again, I just don’t understand what about that video is not. It’s just abundantly clear,” said Kalmus.

Maya contacted KCTV5 after learning the Johnson County prosecutor declined to press charges. She also realized Rainey remained employed at JCCC as the lead groundskeeper despite the fact that she went to campus police regarding the incident.

KCTV5 obtained the campus police report, which details how Rainey believed Maya Kalmus cut him off and “brake-checked” him.

The report also details how the lead groundskeeper acted towards campus police:

What’s a threat?

The issue of threats was recently before the U.S. Supreme Court. In a 7-2 decision, the court raised the bar for prosecutors when it came to threats, highlighting a difference between bluster and true threats.

The case concerned online communications. It’s unclear how prosecutors will interpret the ruling when it comes to charges for in-person communication.

KCTV5 Investigates showed the video to former Jackson County prosecutor Phil LeVota.

He points out video is just one piece of evidence but says video is powerful for juries.

“I mean, this guy, this jerk is screaming things out. You can’t get that from an online thing. So, the Supreme Court case will make prosecutors look at it differently. But, I think when you have video evidence like this, you can hear the emotion in that guy’s voice. It’s a lot different,” said LeVota.

Rainey’s response

KCTV5 connected with Rainey, who declined to do an interview.

He responded with a lengthy email explaining his side -- that he was cut off and brake-checked.

“As I stopped at the next light, I looked over and could make out what looked like a phone being pointed at me to record my reaction. At this time, I was very upset so I thought I’d give them the reaction they wanted,” wrote Rainey.

Rainey says he didn’t realize the driver was a girl.

Rainey’s employment with JCCC recently came to an end. The community college won’t discuss why. KCTV5 was able to send Rainey an email to his work account in mid-July. The email now informs people, “Daniel Rainey is unavailable.”

One prosecutor declines charges, but another files charges

Prosecutors have discretion deciding in which cases to file charges.

A spokesperson for the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the case or lack of charges.

KCTV5 Investigates learned that police took another route when Johnson County declined to prosecute. The case was sent to the municipal prosecutor. That prosecutor did file a charge.

Dan Rainey now faces a municipal charge of disorderly conduct. Penalties in municipal cases are generally less severe.

For more KCTV5 Investigates reports, click here.

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