A civilian helped stop an armed suspect Thursday, who was fleeing from police officers in New York City.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York, the suspect, Jason Fleming, was arrested on March 16 after he brandished loaded firearms in broad daylight after a dispute in a bodega in Chelsea.
The suspect was arrested after a civilian, who saw him fleeing police officers with a revolver in his hand, stepped in his way and pushed him into a nearby fence. The civilian then held onto the suspect until NYPD officers were able to place him under arrest, video shows.
“As alleged, the defendant illegally brandished two loaded firearms in broad daylight on a Manhattan street, one of which was a carbine rifle, frightening numerous New Yorkers, including a child,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “Thanks to our law enforcement partners and the heroic efforts of a Good Samaritan, the defendant was apprehended before he could hurt anyone, and his weapons are now off the streets.”
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A criminal complaint alleges that Fleming, a 39-year-old New York resident, entered a crowded bodega in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan after having a verbal dispute with another man.
The complaint states that Fleming stood in the doorway of the bodega and flashed a handgun as a girl attempted to leave. The child ran from the store past Fleming onto the sidewalk. Surveillance video then shows Fleming outside the bodega and pulling back his coat to reveal a rifle that had been swung over his shoulder.
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NYPD officers approached Fleming after a witness called 911, and the suspect fled down the sidewalk.
“While running, FLEMING brandished a semiautomatic carbine rifle in broad daylight while frightened civilians began running away from him,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a press release.
“FLEMING then threw the rifle over a fence near where customers were dining at a restaurant’s outdoor dining shed,” authorities said. Police recovered a loaded semiautomatic Hi-Point carbine rifle from where the suspect tossed the firearm.
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The complaint states that Fleming continued running down the street, brandishing a revolver in one hand as police officers pursued on foot.
“A nearby civilian, seeing FLEMING running down the street with a revolver in his hand, stood in FLEMING’s way and pushed him into a nearby fence and then held onto him until police officers, who were still in pursuit, placed FLEMING under arrest and handcuffed him,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Authorities said that Fleming was not permitted to possess firearms because he has two prior felony convictions for unlawful firearms possession.
Fleming is charged with possession of firearms after a felony conviction, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.