An Aberdeen man police say they know as someone who sometimes possesses handguns illegally was arrested Tuesday for allegedly carrying a gun following a foot chase, city police said.
Not only did the incident illustrate dangers police officers face daily, the arrest could have potentially saved someone’s life, Aberdeen Police Lt. Will Reiber said.
“We’ve dealt with he same person, armed, twice in less than a year,” Reiber said. “And for every firearm we take off street, that’s being illegally carried, it potentially saves a victim and us from having to notify someone’s family.”
Aberdeen Police Department officers investigating a traffic complaint near the CSX tracks at West Bel Air Avenue and Law Street on Tuesday saw Ramone Armstrong, a person known to carry illegal firearms, walking in the area, according to an Aberdeen Police Department news release.
Armstrong, 18, of the first block of New County Road, saw the officers and immediately turned and walked the other way, police said.
Aberdeen Officer Josh Pietrogiacomo saw Armstrong “grab his dip,” which he recognized as a characteristic of an armed person, according to the news release. Pietrogiacomo confronted Armstrong, who initially stopped, again adjusted his “dip” then ran.
Armstrong was found after a foot chase that ended in the 100 block of West Bel Air Avenue. Officers retraced Armstrong’s flight path and recovered a loaded .22 caliber Jennings handgun they allege Armstrong ditched, according to the news release.
On a social media post prior to the incident, Aberdeen Police Department had received a photograph of Armstrong allegedly displaying a nearly identical handgun as the one seized.
Armstrong was taken to the Harford County Detention Center, where he was waiting to be processed Wednesday morning, Reiber said.
He is charged with having a handgun on his person, possession of a regulated firearm as a minor, possession of a firearm with a felony conviction, concealing a dangerous weapon, possession of ammunition, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and two counts of illegal possession of a regulated firearm, according to online court records.
Armstrong was found guilty in November 2017 of possession of a firearm as a minor. Other weapons charges were placed on the inactive docket, according to court records. Four weeks later, he was arrested for allegedly violating the terms of probation in the case.
In late November 2017, he was charged in connection with a robbery that involved a handgun, according to court records. The case was not prosecuted.
Reiber said hopefully the second arrest will send a message, not just to Armstrong, but anyone: “If you’re carrying illegal firearms on the streets, you will be arrested and prosecuted. Our officers are vigilant and are looking for indicators that people are armed.”