By MARK NEWMAN
Courier staff writer
---- — OTTUMWA — Police Chief Tom McAndrew reports his officers tackled a man who they allege was illegally carrying a gun over the weekend.
Around 3:44 a.m. Sunday, Ottumwa Police officers responded to a report of a verbal argument. The call was from a business called "The Elbow Room," located at 303 E. Main St. in Ottumwa.
But while they were there, officers were informed of a different incident: An individual had allegedly flashed a weapon. The man was later identified as Raul Ortega III, 18 of Missouri. He was inside the Elbow Room. But when officers tried to stop him, he fled on foot. After a short chase, the suspect was caught. Officers recovered a .25 caliber handgun from Ortega.
Police Lt. Jason Bell said the man faces several criminal charges, including one felony. And while he has been charged with illegally carrying a weapon, the gun charge is only an aggravated misdemeanor. However, running from the police, which comes under the heading of "interference with official acts," will be considered a Class D Felony.
"It's an enhanced charge, because of the [firearm]," Bell told the Courier.
Ortega was also charged with possession of alcohol under the legal age.
The suspect was treated then released back into police custody from Ottumwa Regional Health Center for injuries sustained after he was tackled attempting to flee from police. He is currently being held in the Wapello County Jail on $7,000 bond. While that means he could post 10 percent to be released from custody before trial, the Missouri man would need to find a bail bondsman willing to front the rest of the $7,000.
Ortega's address was given as 320 E. Fourth St. in Milan, Missouri.
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