Jonathan Strauder, 19, of the 600 block of Pearl St., was arrested early Sunday morning and charged with carrying concealed weapons, using weapons while intoxicated, unlawful discharge of a firearm, underage consumption and operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Strauder later admitted he fired a single shot into the air to ward off a group of people who emerged from a pool hall at Hancock and Monroe streets, a Sandusky police report said.
“He said a whole group of people came out of the building, and two of them had guns,” the report said. “He advised he fired the shot into the air and then he took off”
Police were first dispatched to Hancock and Monroe streets at about 5:30 a.m. Sunday, after a report of women fighting. They found nothing on their first visit, but were quickly called back to the area after a report of gunshots.
A witness told police the suspect fled the scene in a gray Toyota Corolla, which an officer soon pulled over at Hayes and Columbus avenues. The driver, Strauder, initially refused to let police search the vehicle, but after some prodding he agreed, the report said.
“‘I’m gonna be honest with you, there is a gun in that car,’” he told police, according to the report.
Indeed, in a pocket behind the car’s passenger seat, officers found an empty Bryco .380 Jennings handgun.
Strauder then asked police if “there was any chance of getting the charges (pleaded) down to a misdemeanor because he can’t get a felony,” according to the report. A breathalyzer test initially registered Strauder’s blood-alcohol content at 0.35 percent, and a later test registered it at 0.16 percent.
Strauder told police his girlfriend called him earlier that morning and said some guy was “messing with her and putting his hands on her,” the report said. He told police he went to the pool hall at Hancock and Monroe streets to protect his girlfriend. “He stated he could have shot the guy if he wanted to but he didn’t” the report said.
Strauder was later released from jail.
The incident wasn’t the only one involving gunplay in Sandusky on Sunday. Officers were dispatched to Hancock and Lane streets for a report of shots fired about two hours prior to the Strauder incident. Officers found seven .22-caliber rounds in the area — some spent, some live — but arrested no suspects.
About six hours later, a Sandusky woman showed up at the Sandusky police station to drop off a loaded.22-caliber magazine her grandson found on the ground in the 200 block of McDonough Street.