WOONSOCKET — A city man's decision to investigate suspicious activity in his neighborhood resulted in him being charged with a gun violation, according to police.
It turns out, the car tampering incident that Jonathan Chan, 26, of 165 Glen Road, thought was occurring outside his home on Nov. 25 was nothing more than a newspaper delivery person making her early-morning rounds. He is now charged with felony assault with a dangerous weapon — a handgun — and possession of a pistol without a license or permit, in connection with the incident, according to police.
The events unfolded at roughly 4:50 a.m. on Nov. 25 when Det. Patrick A. Murray received a call from police dispatch about a possible car-jacking in the Glen Road area.
While en route to the location, Murray was informed that the victims would be responding to the police station, and he was to meet them there.
The newspaper carrier told police she had been delivering in the city's North End neighborhood, helped by her daughter while her son slept in the back seat.
As the woman’s daughter returned to the vehicle near 129 Glen Road, the woman said, a man wearing all black clothing ran up to the front of the vehicle, yelling at her to get out of the car while pointing a handgun, Murray reported. The man came to the driver’s-side window, still pointing the gun, and reportedly asked the women what they were doing in the neighborhood. The mother said she responded, "delivering newspapers."
At that point, according to Murray, the man replied that he was "sorry" and became apologetic. He told the woman there had been several break-ins in the area while explaining his concern, according to police. The woman told police she drove off from the location at that point and contacted the authorities.
Police responded to the neighborhood and visited Chan's home at 165 Glen Road but learned he had gone to work at his job as an EMT.
Chan subsequently contacted the police department and told Sgt. Michael Villiard that he had looked out of his home early in the morning and saw someone near his neighbor's vehicle and believed them to be tampering with it. Chan told police he believed his vehicle would be tampered with next. Chan, who shootd his handgun at a local gun club, got his pistol and went outside to confront the person near the car, Villiard reported. After finding out the family members were delivering papers, Chan told police he apologized for the incident.
Police notified Chan he could face charges over the incident and turned the matter over to the detective division for further investigation.
Chan went to District Court this past Thursday to turn himself in for the Nov. 25 complaint and was charged with assault with a handgun and possession of a gun without a permit, police said.