An Olean man was arraigned Wednesday on allegations that he shot an unregistered firearm at a man driving a vehicle near Busty Heart’s Place in Annin Township, McKean County.
James E. Williams, 24, is charged with aggravated assault — attempts to cause serious bodily injury or causes injury with extreme difference, a first-degree felony; aggravated assault — attempts to cause or causes bodily injury with a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony; firearms not to be carried without a license, a third-degree felony; possession of a weapon and propel missile into occupied vehicles, both first-degree misdemeanors; simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, both second-degree misdemeanors.
According to the police report, at approximately 4:14 a.m. on May 16, while driving south on Route 446, officers noticed a gray Land Rover with Pennsylvania license plates. As they approached the vehicle, they noticed the vehicle was smoking and there was a puddle of engine coolant on the ground, leaking from the radiator.
Police checked the cab of the vehicle, though nobody was inside. They deployed several flares, filled out an abandoned vehicle tag and tagged the vehicle.
Pennsylvania State Police in Lewis Run contacted Donovan’s Towing to remove the vehicle, though advised Donovan’s to put a hold on the vehicle until they figured out who was driving the vehicle and why they abandoned it in the roadway, the criminal complaint noted.
At approximately 7:44 a.m. on May 17, the driver of the Land Rover allegedly contacted PSP Lewis Run to inquire about his car. He related to the trooper that he was getting ready to leave Busty Heart’s Place when an altercation broke out in the parking lot, during which someone began shooting a gun. The male said he became scared and fled the scene. Additionally, he related that the car had been shot, causing it to become disabled, the complaint alleged.
After an investigation, which included reviewing surveillance footage as well as witness interviews, police determined that after the altercation broke out in the parking lot, multiple people, including Williams, surrounded the Land Rover. The group of people allegedly began chasing and throwing rocks at the Land Rover as the man attempted to drive through the crowd to flee the parking lot, according to the complaint.
At approximately 3:54 a.m., Williams was observed firing multiple rounds from a semi-automatic handgun in the direction of State Route 155, where the Land Rover had exited. Williams then allegedly ran to the corner of the parking lot and out of sight, the complaint stated.
While processing the scene, police located six spent 9 mm shell casings from the location Williams was observed to be standing when the shots were fired. Williams did not have a valid license to carry firearms, the complaint stated.
Williams is currently jailed in McKean County Jail in lieu of $200,000 monetary bail.
A preliminary hearing has been set for July 27 in front of District Judge William Todd.