ELKTON — A man is behind bars after he allegedly brandished a handgun on the street of an Elkton neighborhood when his offer to buy belongings owned by evicted residents was rejected, according to Cecil County District Court records.
Elkton Police Department officers confiscated what they believe to be the handgun — a pearl-handled Rohm .22 caliber revolver – after finding it beneath a living room couch inside a nearby residence where the suspect, Jamal S. Chew, 41, had gone following the incident that occurred on Tuesday afternoon in the 100 block of Huntsman Drive, police reported.
Investigators also seized two baggies containing suspect crack cocaine and heroin mixed with fentanyl, which Chew purportedly tossed to the ground when EPD officers spotted him walking in the area of Road 5 and Road 6 in the Hollingsworth Manor neighborhood, close to where the incident had occurred, later that same day, police said.
Believing that Chew could be armed with a firearm, police added, EPD Sgt. David Confer drew his agency handgun and ordered Chew to lay on the ground, before taking him into custody.
Chew is facing 22 charges, 12 of which are felonies, including possession of heroin/fentanyl with intent to distribute and possession of a handgun in a drug trafficking crime, court records show.
One of the felonies filed against him is illegal possession of a firearm because, according to court records, Chew is prohibited from possessing guns and ammunition due to convictions for second-degree assault and possession of drugs with intent to distribute on his criminal record.
Chew remained in the Cecil County Detention without bond on Thursday after his bail review hearing, court records show.
The investigation started at approximately 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, when EPD officers went to the 100 block of Huntsman Drive after receiving a complaint regarding a “verbal disturbance involving a firearm,” police reported.
Investigators interviewed the alleged victims – a 34-year-old man, his girlfriend and her son, who had been evicted from their Huntsman Drive residence shortly before the incident, court records show.
“As a result (of the eviction), all of their belongings were outside in the parking area,” according to court records, which further indicate that the three evicted residents were standing near their removed property when a man, later identified as Chew, and a man accompanying him approached.
Chew reportedly commented, “That’s some nice stuff,” after noticing the removed belongings, and then asked if any of the items were for sale, police said. The man told investigators that he informed Chew that nothing was for sale, police added.
“(The man) advised that, out of frustration, he began arguing with Mr. Chew . . . He advised that Mr. Chew stated, ‘What? I should beat your (double expletive). He advised that, while stating this, Mr. Chew removed the revolver-style handgun from his right front pocket and held it down to (Chew’s) side,” court records allege.
The man told investigators that Chew was standing close to him while displaying the handgun, which he described to them, police said. He also told investigators that he was “worried about the safety” of his girlfriend and her son, police added.
His girlfriend and her son gave similar accounts of the incident to investigators; however, the woman is the only one who told them that she did not see Chew display a handgun, police noted.
After the confrontation, Chew and the man were seen walking to a nearby residence in the 100 block of Pheasant Drive, where they also had been seen before the incident occurred, police reported.
EPD officers later spotted a man fitting the description of the suspect as he was walking on a Hollingsworth Manor street, police said. Investigators identified that man as Chew, whom they knew because of previous encounters with him, police added.
The victims later identified Chew as the suspect when investigators showed them a photo of the man they had spotted on that Hollingsworth Manor street, court records allege.
In addition to the two baggies containing suspect heroin/fentanyl and crack cocaine, investigators confiscated Chew’s cell phone and $210 after taking him into custody, court records show.
“While collecting Chew’s cell phone, I observed messages on the home screen that were consistent with (illegal drug) sales,” EPD Det. Thomas Saulsbury alleges in this written statement of probable cause.
During a consent-search of the residence in the 100 block of Pheasant Drive, which was occupied by other people, investigators found a handgun under a living room couch and confiscated the weapon, police reported.
Investigators also interviewed the man who reportedly was with Chew during the confrontation, police said. While acknowledging that he was with Chew at the time, the man maintained that he did not see Chew “pull a firearm” during the incident, police added.
That man also asserted that “he did not help Chew hide the (handgun)” while they were together at the Pheasant Drive residence directly after the confrontation, court records show.
He agreed to provide a DNA sample, forewarning investigators that his “DNA would come back on the firearm,” court records show. That man then explained that while the handgun in question “belonged to Chew,” he had held that firearm in the past, according to charging documents.