POCATELLO — A Pocatello man is facing a felony charge after allegedly brandishing a weapon in a strange interaction.
James Edward Hill, 18, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly blocked a woman in a parking lot while staring at her and “petting” a BB gun, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Officers from the Pocatello Police Department were dispatched to the 1700 block of Hurley Drive around 1 p.m. on March 2 following calls reporting a weapons offense.
When police arrived at the parking lot near Old Navy, they spoke with the victim who provided a description of the suspect, later identified as Hill.
The victim said she was approaching her car when she saw Hill walking toward her. As she got into the car, Hill circled around it to the driver’s side door. She said he did not say anything.
When she attempted to drive away, she said Hill repositioned himself in the parking lot blocking her from leaving. When she stopped, he pulled a gun, later identified as a CO2-powered BB gun, and stared at the woman while “petting” it, the affidavit says.
The woman provided a physical description of the man. A short time later, officers located Hill, with another male, at the intersection of Industrial Lane and McKinley Avenue.
In speaking with the men, officers noticed a black handle sticking out of Hill’s pants pocket.
Once he was handcuffed, officers determined that Hill was carrying a BB gun in his pocket. The other man was also in possession of a similar BB gun, also belonging to Hill.
Hill told officers that he had just purchased the BB gun, according to the affidavit. He said that he fired it in the Old Navy parking lot, but told officers it was not loaded at the time.
He was transported to Bannock County Jail, where he was booked and is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.
If he is found guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Hill would face up to five years in prison and $50,000 in fines.
He is scheduled to appear in court before Magistrate Judge Paul Laggis for a preliminary hearing on March 24.
Hill is also facing a felony charge of malicious injury to property connected to another incident. He is accused of causing more than $1,000 in damages to a vehicle on Dec. 21.