PERRYVILLE — A man remained jailed Thursday after he allegedly pointed a handgun at a rival during a fight in downtown Perryville, according to Cecil County District Court records.
Investigators later determined that the suspect, Jonathan William Cyrus, 36, of the 600 block of Broad Street in Perryville, is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition because of “prior offenses,” court records show.
The investigation started at approximately 6:20 p.m. on Monday, when a Perryville Police Department officer and two members of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police responded to the 800 block of Aiken Avenue, after receiving a “fight-in-progress” complaint and additional information that one of the combatants had armed himself with a handgun, police reported.
When the officers arrived, the combatants were gone, police said. A bystander who witnessed the fight and the gun brandishing told officers that the two combatants rode away together in a white pickup truck equipped with a ladder rack – even though they had just fought and even though they did not know each other, police added.
“From what we’ve gathered, the parties involved in this incident were strangers. This was their first encounter,” PPD Chief Robert Nitz told the Cecil Whig on Thursday.
Officers radioed a county-wide description of the 2016 Ford pickup truck and, a short time later, PPD Officer R. Peer, lead investigator, located the vehicle parked at the rear of Cyrus’ apartment building on Broad Street and then spoke to three people who were standing behind the truck, police reported.
Investigators identified those people as Cyrus; the 43-year-old Baltimore man with whom he had fought and a 45-year-old Rising Sun woman, who was that man’s companion, according to police.
The officer noted that the man had a small amount of blood on the left side of his nose and that Cyrus had blood on several of his fingertips, court records show.
“Both men advised that they had gotten into a fight over a misunderstanding related to (the woman),” according to court records.
Those court records further allege that Cyrus purportedly made “racial and sexual comments” to the woman shortly before the fight, as he rode his bicycle by a Perryville house while the woman and the man were working on it.
At that point, the man and woman got into the Ford pickup truck and found Cyrus in the 800 block of Aiken Avenue, where the fight occurred, police reported.
But Cyrus and the man with whom he fought denied the presence of gun, court records show.
“Both men stated Mr. Cyrus was a victim of mistaken identity. When asked about the handgun, both men stated they had no knowledge of a handgun and that the caller may have mistaken Mr. Cyrus’ fishing reel as a handgun,” according to charging documents.
The officer received permission to search the pickup truck, but he found no weapons, police said. After interviewing both men, police added, the officer released them.
A few minutes later, however, when they were no longer with Cyrus, the man and woman flagged down Peer and PPD Sgt. Hoffman in the area of Maywood Avenue and Cecil Avenue and told them that Cyrus did have a handgun, court records allege.
“(The man) went on to say that he did not want to say anything initially because he feared retaliation from Mr. Cyrus,” according to charging documents.
Supplying the additional information, the man then told investigators that he got out of truck in the 800 block of Aiken Avenue and confronted Cyrus about the comments he allegedly had made regarding the woman, police said. Cyrus reportedly denied making any comments, police added.
“It was at that time, Mr. Cyrus raised his shirt, withdrew the gun from his waistband and briefly pointed the gun at (the man) while stating, ‘I’ll shoot you.’ Mr. Cyrus then placed the gun back in his waistband and stated he was a boxer and, ‘I’ll knock you the (expletive) out’,” court records allege.
The man also told investigators that when Cyrus allegedly pulled the handgun a second time, he “rushed Mr. Cyrus and, utilizing previous martial arts training, was able to disarm” him, according to charging documents.
At that point, the man reportedly cleared the handgun, ejecting several rounds onto the grass in the front yard of a residence in the 800 block of Aiken Avenue, and removed the magazine, police said. Then Cyrus, the man and the woman got into the pickup truck and drove away, before parking it at the rear of Cyrus’ Broad Street apartment building, where Peer later found them, police added.
The man said the gun had been discarded in bushes behind that Broad Street apartment building, prompting investigators to return to that scene – where they recovered a black Springfield Armory XD9 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a 16-round magazine after finding it in a “clump of bushes,” according to charging documents.
Investigators interviewed Cyrus a second time and he allegedly made comments indicating that he had, indeed, possessed a handgun during the confrontation and that he had an opportunity to shoot the man, police reported.
“During the recorded encounter, Mr. Cyrus made the following statements, including, ‘Only reason he got it from me is because I didn’t want to shoot him. I could have shot him’,” court records allege.
But Cyress denied that he had displayed the handgun, telling investigators, “I didn’t pull my gun on him. I put it in my backpack and he wrestled it from me,” according to charging documents.
Cyrus, however, admitted that he owned the handgun in question, court records show.
“Mr. Cyrus also advised that he has photographs of himself with the gun on his cellphone. Mr. Cyrus further advised that he has other guns,” court records allege.
Nitz told the Cecil Whig that investigators later confiscated an additional 9mm semi-automatic handgun and loose 9mm ammunition while conducting a court-approved search of Cyrus’ apartment.
“Our officers did an outstanding job working this case. They were able to confiscate two guns from a convicted felon who is prohibited from possessing firearms,” Nitz commented.
Cyrus is charged with first-degree assault, which is felony, and five misdemeanor offenses, including illegal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony or a crime of violence, according to court records, which further indicate that he is scheduled for an Oct. 9 preliminary hearing.
Held without bond initially, Cyrus remained in the Cecil County Detention Center on Thursday in lieu of a $10,000 bond, after his bail review hearing earlier that day, court records show.