CHARLESTOWN — A Charlestown man faces multiple charges after neighbors say he pointed a gun at them.
Around 11:17 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, Charlestown Police Department officers were dispatched to Winthrop Drive to investigate a report of James W. Howell, 19, pointing a gun at his neighbors, according to a police report.
When the officers arrived, the neighbors pointed out Howell, who was then handcuffed until the officers could determine the nature of the allegations. While doing so, one officer noticed a Smith and Wesson handgun sticking out of the back waistband of his pants, which the officer secured in his car.
One of the neighbors who reportedly had the gun pointed at him told officers he, his wife and several other neighbors and friends had been sitting on the porch having beers and discussing his cat being poisoned several months ago. At that point, a woman who lives at Howell's residence with her husband, who was on the porch, came around from the back of the house yelling that they were talking about her and calling her names. An argument ensued between the woman and the complainant, and Howell went into his residence and returned with a gun, witnesses said.
The complainant said Howell pointed the gun at him and his wife, who said she would call the police. Howell withdrew the gun and went into the house.
The officers said that the other complainants and witness stories were consistent and none seemed intoxicated. Two of them referred to an incident earlier in the day in which Howell had pointed his gun at his boyfriend. A report was taken after this incident as well.
“James is going to get someone hurt,” one witness said. “He needs to stop pointing guns at people.”
The witness, who only heard the incident because she was inside her home at the time, told police that she first heard yelling from outside and then turned down her television, at which point she said she heard a male voice say, “I will shoot you.” She said she walked outside to ask the others what was happening.
When police questioned the woman who had come from the back of the house and begun arguing, she said that she had been in her backyard when she heard those on the porch calling her names. She said she went to confront them, and said Howell stood on the porch holding a puppy, not a gun.
An officer asked Howell for his side of the story and he said it had been a puppy he was holding, until the officer placed him under arrest. At this point, Howell admitted that he had taken his gun out and cocked it, but just for protection and didn't point it at anyone.
He has been charged in Clark County Circuit 1 with intimidation with a deadly weapon, a level 5 felony, and pointing a firearm, a level 6 felony. He has an initial appearance schedule for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22.