Loaded gun in vehicle spurs weapons charges

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A Utica man was charged with weapons possession after a loaded handgun was found in his vehicle Tuesday night, according to law enforcement officials.

Meanwhile, the investigation remains ongoing into a separate gun incident near Utica City Hall Tuesday afternoon.

Police said Joshua Butler, 35, of Utica, was pulled over for a traffic violations in the 1600 block of Brinckerhoff Ave. at about 11 p.m. Tuesday. Police said Butler was also found to be wanted on several outstanding warrants and he was taken into custody.

Once in custody, police said they learned that a loaded .40-caliber handgun was hidden under the driver’s seat. The weapon was seized.

Butler is charged with one count each of second and third-degree possession of a weapon, as well as criminal possession of a firearm, police said. He was also charged with several vehicle and traffic violations, as well as the warrants. Butler is scheduled to appear in City Court.

At about 5:44 p.m. Tuesday, police said they attempted a different, unrelated traffic stop on Broadway, near Court Street. Police said a rear passenger jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot across the top of the Kennedy Plaza parking garage, next to City Hall.

Police pursued the suspect — described as a black male wearing all red — but were unable to find him, authorities said. During the pursuit, police said the suspect dropped a loaded handgun, which was also seized.

The search remains ongoing for the suspect.

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