ELKTON — A man is facing gun-related charges, after his alleged plan to get his companion into trouble with the law during their argument in an Elkton motel parking lot backfired on him, according to Cecil County District Court records.
Elkton Police Department officers arrested the suspect, James E. Harrington Jr., 31, of Clayton, Del., on Monday outside Motel 6 in the 200 block of Belle Hill Road, after Harrington’s public argument with his female companion prompted someone on that property to call the authorities, police reported.
The complaint was about a “verbal disturbance, “ and the dispatcher relayed that “there was a reference to a firearm,” court records indicate.
When EPD officers arrived there, they saw Harrington standing outside a parked vehicle, near the driver’s side door, and a woman occupying the driver’s seat, according to police.
Through interviewing the two, investigators learned that the couple started arguing loudly inside their motel room that morning, police said. The woman told investigators that she slapped Harrington in the face several times when he rushed toward her, before fleeing to her vehicle and locking the doors, police added.
Harrington followed her, pulled on the door handles and demanded that the woman let him inside the car, according to court records. After a bystander told Harrington to leave the woman alone, Harrington argued with that person briefly and then returned to the motel room, court records show.
When Harrington returned to the vehicle a short time later, he was able to get inside of it, police reported.
“While Harrington was in the vehicle, he told (the woman) he placed the gun in the vehicle and (she) would never be able to find it. Harrington continued to taunt (the woman) and stated the cops were on their way and she was going to get caught with it,” court records allege.
The woman, at that point, ran to the motel office and called 911, before returning to her vehicle to wait for police, according to court records.
After officers arrived, the woman told them that there was a gun inside her car; that it was registered to her; and that she also had a bullet and magazine for that gun in her pants pocket, police reported.
Searchers found a Ruger .380 semi-automatic handgun and a plastic bag holding six bullets on the front passenger’s side seat, beneath some clothes, police said. They also found the bullet and magazine inside the woman’s pocket, where she had indicated it would be, police added.
During her police interview, the woman explained that she had been keeping the handgun’s magazine and ammo with her, while keeping the unloaded firearm in the motel room they had been using “so Harrington can’t use it,” according to court records.
“(The investigator) asked if she was positive the weapon was in the room when she left. (The woman) advised she was and (that) Harrington placed the gun into the vehicle,” court records allege.
A follow-up investigation revealed that Harrington is prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a felony drug-related conviction in New Jersey, according to court records.
Scheduled for an Oct. 16 preliminary hearing, Harrington is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, which is a felony, and four other gun-related offenses, court records show.
Harrington remained in the Cecil County Detention Center without bond Tuesday night, a day after his bail review hearing, according to court records.