Pair face weapons charges after gunfire, chase in Utica

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BY Sean I. Mills

Staff writer

Two Utica men have been charged with weapons possession following gunfire, a police pursuit, an accident and a recovered wallet late Thursday night in the city, according to law enforcement officials.

Police said they were dispatched to the intersection of Sunset Avenue and Shaw Street shortly before 11 p.m. Thursday for reports that a silver Dodge Caravan and another vehicle were firing gunshots. Police said both vehicles were gone when they arrived. Several spent bullet casings from 9mm and .40-caliber weapons were found on the ground.

Shortly thereafter, police said they were tipped off that the Dodge Caravan had been spotted nearby. Officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, but police said the driver hit the gas and sped through the city. Police said they called off their pursuit because of the reckless driving, as a precaution for public safety.

Within minutes, police said they were called to the 700 block of Blandina St. because the Dodge Caravan had crashed into a utility pole.

Sirr Roberts, age 19, of Utica, was found laying on the ground with leg injuries, police said. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. A loaded 9mm handgun was found in plain sight laying on the floor of the sedan.

The wallet of a second man was found inside the vehicle, and police said there were reports from witnesses that this man had suffered a significant arm fracture in the crash. The man had already fled the scene by the time police arrived.

Police said this second man eventually arrived at the hospital seeking treatment for his arm. Police said they matched the man to the identity in the wallet, and 23-year-old Tyshawn Rhines was also taken into custody.

Both Rhines and Roberts are charged with one count each of second-degree possession of a weapon and criminal possession of a firearm, both felonies, police said. Rhines is additionally charged with one count of third-degree possession of a weapon, police stated. Both men are scheduled to appear in court.

Police said the investigation is continuing and additional charges are possible.

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