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Criminal defense to gun charges will probe eyewitness

When the Virginia Beach Police made a recent traffic stop, they believe that they stumbled onto a suspect who was wanted for offenses allegedly committed a few days earlier. On Wednesday, June 28, police responded to a complaint at a local community college that a man had brandished a gun in a restroom on campus. On Friday, they stopped a man on an apparent traffic offense, but did not then know that they would saddle him also with mounting a criminal defense to the earlier charges of brandishing a gun at the college.

In the earlier incident, which took place at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach, a woman using a campus restroom at about 3 p.m. said that a man walked into the room and pulled out a gun, police say. The woman screamed and the man ran out of the room. There were no injuries and that was the end of the matter, except that the suspect escaped, according to the authorities.

In the traffic stop two days later, police pulled over a car at about 10:10 p.m. near Holland Road and Damn Neck Road. The operator did not cooperate and led the police on a chase that ended when the suspect crashed his car on Oceana Blvd, according to police. They say that the man had minor injuries, and was subsequently charged with several crimes dealing with the chase and also with weapons charges dealing with the community college incident. One charge of abduction seems to be overkill, since the perpetrator ran when the woman screamed.

Criminal defense counsel will insist on strict identification of the suspect by the woman in the restroom. If she cannot identify him accurately or sufficiently to prove the case under Virginia law, then the college charges will likely not be pressed. There may be evidence not reported that the police are evaluating and that formed the basis for tying the man in with the college complaint. If there is none, the leap of charging this suspect may have been premature, and may be difficult to prove.

Source: dailypress.com, "Virginia Beach police: Man arrested in connection with brandishing at TCC", Kate Mishkin, July 1, 2017

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