Crime

Cops: Drunk man with loaded handgun causes stir on Big Pine Key

A Big Pine Key man was jailed Tuesday morning for allegedly openly carrying a loaded gun while drunk on the Lower Keys island.

Jeffrey Charron, 45, is charged with carrying a firearm openly, improper exhibition of a firearm and resisting an officer with violence. The first two counts are misdemeanors, the third one a felony.

Deputy Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, said dispatchers received "several calls reporting a man who appeared to be intoxicated who had a handgun visible in the waistband of his pants."

Deputies Scott Ward and Linda Kohout responded to the location, the Ace Hardware store on Big Pine. There, they found Charron sitting on the ground in front of the business, with the gun, a loaded .380-caliber Walther, tucked in his pants.

Herrin said Ward ordered him to put his hands up and keep them in the air but Charron instead began to lower one hand toward the gun. Kohout walked up to him and was able to grab his arm and Ward grabbed the other arm, Herrin said.

As they tried to handcuff Charron, he reportedly struggled with them, and a corrections officer who was riding with Kohout on patrol was able to get control of the weapon.

Herrin said "a number of witnesses" said Charron was having trouble standing. At one point, he reportedly went into the hardware store and sat on the floor but was asked to leave and went outside, where the deputies found him.

Charron remained in the Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island late Tuesday, held without bond.

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