PIQUA — A Piqua man was arraigned on Monday on charges stemming from an incident where he allegedly threatened to “empty an AR clip” at a local bar while having a loaded rifle in his vehicle that was parked behind the bar.
Justin L. Sturgeon, 24, of Piqua, was arraigned on third-degree felony making a terroristic threat, fifth-degree felony possession of controlled substances, and fifth-degree felony trafficking in drugs on Monday in Miami County Municipal Court. He is also facing additional charges of aggravated menacing and improper handling of a firearm inside a motor vehicle, both first-degree misdemeanors.
According to municipal court records, Piqua police responded to a reported disturbance at FM Station, located on the 500 block of South Street in Piqua, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Friday. Sturgeon was reportedly refusing to leave the business after receiving to-go drinks he had ordered, and witnesses reported Sturgeon threatening to “empty an AR clip” in to the bar. Sturgeon denied making threats.
During the investigation, Sturgeon told police there was no firearm his SUV, but police then uncovered a loaded AR-15-style rifle that was visible from the window in the vehicle. The rifle was loaded with a full 40-round magazine and additional ammunition was found in the vehicle.
According to court records, additional evidence collected from the vehicle included 11 grams of suspected methamphetamine, suspected marijuana in multiple forms, cash, and a cell phone.
Sturgeon said he had been at a shooting range earlier in the day and was headed to a hotel in Dayton for a “stay vacation,” court records stated.
Sturgeon entered pleas of not guilty. His case has been scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 19.
Sturgeon is continuing to be held in the Miami County Jail on a total bond of $26,000.