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DECATUR — A Decatur man, arrested on weapons offenses, told police he needed a gun for his own “protection purposes” as he has been shot 11 times previously.

The 40-year-old man was arrested Sunday night at his home in the 1100 block of East Locust Street and booked on preliminary charges of being an armed habitual criminal and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state attorney’s office.

Police had earlier been alerted by the man’s 39-year-old girlfriend who had gone to his home, where he was with another woman, and the two had argued.

The woman said all the time they argued the man was holding a large, black semi-automatic handgun she had described to police as a “45.” Writing in a sworn affidavit, Decatur police Officer Ryan Wicks said the man at first denied to police he owned such a weapon but officers searching his home found a “fully loaded black, .45 caliber, semi-automatic handgun" by a box of “Cocoa Pebbles” cereal on top of the kitchen refrigerator.

The man then told police of his many previous woundings but Wicks said he is not allowed to possess a gun under any circumstance because he is a convicted felon. He remained held in the Macon County Jail Monday night in lieu of posting $30,000 bond.

Wicks said the man has two prior felony convictions for aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and for being a felon possession of a weapon.

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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