A Pacifica man found guilty of beating another driver on his way to see his ill sister on Highway 1 was released from jail so he could have surgery, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Richard Rainville, 48, was released for six weeks so he can have the surgery and have time for recovery. He was found guilty in January and his sentencing is now scheduled for May 5, according to prosecutors.

Rainville tailgated Ignatius Leonor, then 61, as he was driving north on Highway 1 to San Francisco from his home in Moss Beach to visit his sister the evening of Oct. 11, 2013. Leonor and his wife, Valentina, had just received news that Leonor’s sister had come out of a coma, and were on their way to visit her at UCSF Medical Center. Rainville tailgated them through the Devil’s Slide Tunnel just south of Pacifica to a red light at the intersection of Highway 1 and Linda Mar Boulevard. Rainville drove up to the right side of Leonor’s car, gesturing and yelling at the couple. Rainville then got out of his car and began banging on the Leonor’s passenger’s side window, causing Leonor to get out of the car to defend his wife, who was sitting in the passenger’s seat. Rainville punched Leonor about 10 times, kicked him, then shoved him out of the way before he fled the scene, according to prosecutors.

The charges were reduced to felony assault without a weapon and misdemeanor battery after prosecutors interviewed Leonor’s surgeon and found they were not able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Rainville’s assault was the sole cause of Leonor’s injuries.

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