charge

A St. Louis man was arrested and charged with a felony Wednesday after allegedly pointing a gun at an Illinois couple during an incident on Interstate 55.

Nathaniel Roberson Jr., 20, of St. Louis, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon, a Class E felony, as well as unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to a report from the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, Thomas and Rita Edwards of Ava, Ill., were northbound on I-55 at approximately 11:34 a.m. when they passed another vehicle. As they passed, one of the occupants of the other vehicle pointed a firearm at them. 

The couple called 911 and responding deputies located the suspect vehicle after it left the highway at the Perryville exit and proceeded to McDonald’s/MotoMart.

““It doesn’t get reported a lot, but these things do happen,” Schaaf said.

“This is the kind of people that run up and down the road all the time.

“I’m glad that nothing else came out of it and nobody got hurt.”

According to a probable cause statement filed in the case by Sgt. Jason Kelley, the four occupants of the suspect vehicle were detained while a search was conducted on the car.

During the search, deputies located a firearm — a Taurus G2c 9mm handgun — on the driver that matched a description given by Rita Edwards to Det. Amber Crites, which matched a firearm located on the driver in the vehicle. The firearm contained four rounds with one in the chamber. 

When interviewed, the driver of the vehicle, identified as Xavier Hall, confirmed that they were travelling northbound on I-55, travelling in the passing lane. 

The Edwards were behind them in their vehicle, but Hall would not get over, prompting Thomas Edwards to cross into the right lane and pass Hall. 

As the Edwards’ vehicle passed them, Hall admitted making a rude gesture to the occupants in the small passenger vehicle and became upset. He sped up, at which point, Roberson asked for Hall’s firearm and pointed it at the Edwards.

Roberson admitted to deputies that he pointed the firearm toward Edwards’ vehicle, but below the window frame and then raising the firearm at some point, pointing it through the window. 

During the search of the vehicle, deputies located a black fanny pack containing a marijuana grinder. Roberson admitted the grinder belonged to him. 

None of the other occupants were charged.

Roberson was initially being held on a $10,000 bond, an amount which was reduced to $5,000. A counsel status hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.

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