Pocatello man accused of using gun to threaten people he said were making fun of him
POCATELLO — A man accused of firing a gun in the parking lot of a Pocatello bar has been charged with a felony.
Antonio Latavious Whitney, 41, faces a charge of aggravated assault for displaying a gun and firing three rounds in the air, court documents show.
Officers from the Pocatello Police Department were dispatched to a bar on 5th Avenue just before midnight Saturday following reports of a gun crime, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Upon arrival, officers spoke with several witnesses who told them that a man they knew only as Antonio had been at the bar, playing pool with two men he had met that night.
Officers later identified Antonio as Whitney.
The three decided to leave, according to the two men, and Whitney called for a ride. But while they were leaving for the parking lot, the men said, Whitney got upset with a small group of people gathered near the front door.
Whitney told the men he was with he believed the group was laughing at him and had been making fun of him, they told officers. According to witness and victim accounts, he went to his vehicle, a silver Chevrolet Malibu, and removed a gun.
When Whitney returned, he raised the gun in the air and fired three rounds, the affidavit says.
The men Whitney was with urged him to leave, which he did. They also left but returned after realizing that they should speak with officers who would likely be investigating the matter.
The men both said they did not believe Whitney intended to hurt anyone. Both men told officers they believed Whitney was drunk when the incident occurred.
However, the people that had been near the front door told officers that they feared for their safety.
Officers recovered three .45 caliber shell casings at the scene.
Due to an October arrest for aggravated assault, officers knew where Whitney lived and went to his home, the affidavit says. Once there, it was determined that given limited manpower, along with Whitney’s history with both violence and gun use, and his possible intoxicated state, it was safest to wait for another time to speak with him.
On March 29, officers obtained video surveillance from the bar corroborating the witness and victim statements.
Officers spoke with Whitney, who admitted to being drunk on the night of the incident. He said that people at the bar had been making fun of him and that he confronted those people with a gun to scare them, according to the affidavit. He allegedly admitted to firing the gun in the air.
Whitney was cooperative with police, the affidavit says, and willingly turned the gun over to officers.
He was then arrested and transported to Bannock County Jail, where he was booked.
He posted a $25,000 bond on March 30 and was released. He waived his preliminary hearing, and no date has been set for his district court arraignment.
Although Whitney has been charged with these crimes, it does not mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If he is found guilty of felony aggravated assault, Whitney will face up to five years in prison and $50,000 in fines.