Britt Reid - the privileged 21-year-old son of Philadelphia sports royalty - is accustomed to leaning on his parents.
He lives at home. He drives mom's car. He dines on dad's dime.
But yesterday Britt didn't get his parents' support - at least not in court.
Eagles Coach Andy Reid and wife Tammy were noticeably absent during the arraignment of their middle son on criminal charges, including a gun felony, connected to last week's alleged road-rage incident in Montgomery County.
Britt - ankles shackled and hands cuffed - arrived at district court in a West Conshohocken police vehicle. With television cameras rolling, police officers escorted him into the building, where his attorney, William J. Winning, was waiting.
Winning later declined comment.
Wearing jeans and a plaid dress shirt, Britt answered District Justice William Maruszczak with quiet politesse: "No, sir" and "Yes, your Honor."
Yet a week ago, a terrified motorist called 911 and described Britt as "a white kid trying to act like a gangster." The motorist, Larry Johnson, told police that Britt had pointed a pistol at his head and flashed a sinister smile before driving off.
"We can't possibly know whether or not he would have ever pulled the trigger," said Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. "But the actions themselves are violent and menacing and threatening, and that is not something that we can tolerate on our roadways. Mr. Johnson was absolutely terrified. His life really flashed before his eyes."
District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr., who is running for county commissioner, has recused himself because his campaign treasurer, Ross Weiss, belongs to the same law firm as Britt's lawyer.
Ferman said any suggestion that Britt or his brother Garrett, who is under investigation in an unrelated case, are getting special treatment is "absolute nonsense." She said that police had conducted thorough investigations and that her office will "aggressively" prosecute any and all charges. She also said Andy and Tammy Reid have not used his influence to help their sons.
"The Reid family has stayed out of this," she said. "They have not tried to exercise any sort of influence."
Britt was charged with carrying a gun without a license, a third-degree felony for which he faces up to seven years in prison.
The satin-nickel-colored handgun that Britt kept in a safe in his bedroom at his parents' Villanova home matched a description provided by Johnson, said Ferman.
"[Johnson] was able to describe it very specifically," she said. "It's simply not reasonable to assume that he would be able to describe the gun that Britt Reid had without having actually seen it himself."
During a search of the 2004 black GMC Denali driven by Britt, police found a magazine clip loaded with a dozen .45-caliber bullets behind the driver's seat. The clip fit Britt's gun, a Para Tac-Four .45-caliber pistol, authorities said.
"He certainly had enough ammunition [in the car] to have the firearm loaded," Ferman said.
Britt told police an uncle had given him the gun when he was a student at Arizona State University, which he left before earning a degree. Tammy Reid told police she was aware of her son's handgun and thought it was legally registered. Investigators are still trying to determine the gun's history, Ferman said.
Police also found a Remington shotgun in Tammy Reid's black SUV that Britt was driving. There are no charges connected to the shotgun because it was legally purchased and registered to Britt, authorities said.
Besides the felony charge, Britt faces six misdemeanor charges, including simple assault, terroristic threats, possession of an instrument of a crime, false reports to authorities and drug possession.
Lab results confirmed that Britt had small quantities of cocaine, marijuana and Oxycodone, a prescription painkiller, inside his mother's vehicle.
"He committed some very serious criminal actions and he's going to have to be held accountable," Ferman said at an afternoon news conference.
Ferman said Britt lied to police twice. He first told an officer that the other driver, Johnson, had a gun and he whipped out a flashlight to make it seem like he had a gun, too. Later he told detectives that Johnson had walked up to Britt's car, threatened him, then went back to his truck and started fishing around for what Britt feared was a gun. That's when Britt pulled out a flashlight, he told police.
"He completely changed his story," Ferman said.
On the day of the road-rage incident, police said, Britt agreed to meet West Conshohocken police at 3 p.m. But he didn't show up at police headquarters and police sent out an alert to local authorities.
Instead, Britt went to the scene of the car crash involving his older brother, Garrett, at Arch Road and Germantown Pike in Plymouth Township. Plymouth Township police contacted West Conshohocken detectives, who came and took Britt to the police station and also towed the GMC Denali he was driving.
The driver dispute between Britt and Johnson occurred about 9 a.m. on Jan. 30 near Matsonsford Road in West Conshohocken - about a mile from the Reid home. Johnson, 36, a carpenter from Delaware County, was on his way to Home Depot to buy some screws. At the time, Johnson's wife was just days away from giving birth to the couple's first child. She gave birth to a boy Monday, but Johnson felt robbed of joy, according to his attorney, Michael O. Pansini.
"This was supposed to be this man's best time in his life," Pansini said. "When this incident occurred, it completely took that away . . . [Britt] ruined my client's life in a sense. . . . To have a gun pointed at your head, all it takes is that finger to move a quarter of an inch and you're going to meet your maker. It's insane."
Pansini said Johnson remains traumatized and is seeing a psychologist. Johnson was stunned when he later learned that Britt was Andy Reid's son, Pansini said.
"You're shocked when you hear things like this coming from a family like the Reid family," Pansini said.