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Witness calls police after seeing driver throw gun, Decatur authorities say

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DECATUR — A man who sped away from pursuing Decatur police officers in a car chase hoping he could dump a stolen gun unnoticed out the window was out of luck when a witness saw what he did, according to a sworn affidavit.

The witness called police after they had caught and arrested the fleeing man and told officers they had seen the gun come flying out the window.

“Officers went to the area and located the firearm, a black Ruger 9mm … in the parking lot behind 2780 North Main Street,” said the affidavit, signed by Officer Jacob Throneburg.

“The area where the Ruger was located was in the path that (the pursued vehicle) had driven at a high rate of speed once officers got behind the vehicle. The Ruger was found to have five hollow point 9mm rounds in the magazine and one hollow point 9mm round in the chamber.”

Throneburg said a check of the gun showed it as being reported stolen by the Bloomington Police Department in Bloomington, Indiana.

The affidavit said the car pursuit had taken place on the afternoon of May 1 after police patrols had spotted the 20-year-old man traveling at 55 mph in a 35 mph zone in the 2700 block of North Water Street. Throneburg said the vehicle had sped up when the driver saw police, detouring through the parking lot where the gun was later found before heading back onto North Water Street where it was pulled over.

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“(The driver) advised that the reason he sped up when officers got behind him was because he was scared,” Throneburg added. “He stated he was scared because he knew the Ruger was under his driver’s seat. He admitted he threw the gun out of the window.”

But the man denied stealing the weapon and claimed instead he had bought it for $250 in a deal done on Facebook.

The man was booked on preliminary charges of the aggravated unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a stolen firearm. Macon County Jail records show he was freed from custody May 3 after posting a bond of $1,500 on bail set at $15,000; prosecutors had wanted bail set at $75,000.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state's attorney’s office.

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


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