Cops: Man caught with gun outside Bridgeview apartments

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A man was arrested last week outside the Bridgeview Village Apartments in downtown Charleston after police said they found a handgun equipped with a flash suppressor in his car.

A Charleston Police Department incident report states officers were patrolling the apartments on North Romney Street around 10:30 p.m. Friday when they saw a 2005 Ford Taurus pull into the parking lot with a broken brake light on the passenger side.

Police said they initiated a traffic stop on the driver, 30-year-old James Michael Crooms, in front of building 122. As they were approaching the vehicle, officers said they could see Crooms "crouch[ing] down" in his seat.

When police got to the window, they said they saw Crooms pull a handgun from his waist and place it on the passenger seat.

According to the report, Crooms stepped out of the car and said, "I'm just sitting in my car; why you messing with me?" He then told police "I'm just getting some bags out of my car. I stay here with my baby mama."

Officers then examined the handgun and identified it as a .38-caliber Hi Point Model CF. The handgun had the safety set to fire, with one bullet in the chamber and two in the magazine, police said.

The handgun was also equipped with what appeared to be a flash suppressor on the barrel, police added. Flash suppressors are used to reduce the chances the shooter will be blinded by firing the weapon in dimly lit conditions.

Crooms was charged with unlawful carrying of a handgun and issued a warning for defective car equipment. He was granted a $2,000 bond on Saturday.

According to Charleston County court records, Crooms was charged with unlawful carrying of a handgun in March 2008. He later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to pay a $100 fee.

Copyright 2013 WCSC.  All rights reserved.