Stafford Teen Named as a Suspect in Firearm Case
After being identified by a UMW student in a photo line up, a local teen was charged with brandishing a weapon to the student while she was jogging downtown on Aug. 30.
Juvenile petitions were filed for the suspect, 16, for the misdemeanor charge , according to Natatia Bledsoe, Fredericksburg police spokesperson.
Bledsoe said the teen was identified on Sept. 6 by Officer Julie Keene, who was patrolling in the downtown area. Keene saw a person matching the victim’s description of the suspect on a bicycle and stopped him for questions, identification and a picture. When he was stopped, the suspect was carrying a black drawstring bag and in possession of a pellet gun, which matched the victim’s description.
According to Bledsoe, the suspect lives in Stafford County and is believed to frequent the downtown area.
The female student was jogging near William and Sophia streets shortly before 9 p.m. on Aug. 30 when she noticed a male following her on a bicycle, according to a campus crime alert sent to students.
The jogger proceeded to turn onto Sophia Street, and as she was nearing the intersection of Sophia and Charlotte, the male initiated conversation asking the student if she knew where Bragg Hill was located.
After replying “no” and directing him to a nearby coffee shop, the bicyclist proceeded to reach into the black drawstring bag and withdrew a handgun, according to the crime alert.
The bicyclist was then chased away by several males at the Visitor’s Center on Caroline Street.
Bledsoe said there are no known motives in the case so far. The case has been forwarded to Juvenile Intake Authorities.
Photo by Anne Elder