Man arrested after allegedly brandishing handgun on Eastern Avenue

By Ryan Carter -



After receiving a complaint Tuesday of a Washington C.H. man brandishing a firearm on Eastern Avenue, police tracked down a vehicle and allegedly found the suspect to be in possession of a loaded handgun and a hypodermic needle.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday, it was reported that Michael L. Stolzenburg, 31, of 1106 Rawling St., had just departed from the 600 block of Eastern Avenue in a maroon van after allegedly pointing a gun at another man. Jonathan Sever, a Washington Police Department investigator, located the van backing eastbound from Forest Street to Eastern Avenue.

Sever exited his vehicle, approached the van and told the three individuals inside to put their hands where he could see them, according to reports. All three, including Stolzenburg (the backseat passenger), complied with the order.

Sever then opened the passenger’s rear sliding door and reportedly observed a handgun magazine on the floorboard. Stolzenburg was removed from the van and Sever patted him down for possible weapons.

“I did not locate a weapon on his person but I took him back to my vehicle where I obtained a set of handcuffs in order to detain the defendant so I could investigate the complaint further,” Sever wrote in his report. “While attempting to place the defendant into handcuffs he began trying to pull away from me in an attempt to flee. It was at that time that I was able to get the defendant turned around and grab him by the upper body/shoulder area and take him to the ground.”

Due to their position on the ground, Sever was unable to place Stolzenburg in restraints, reports said. Two other officers arrived to assist in apprehending Stolzenburg. He was taken back to a patrol vehicle where officers allegedly found a hypodermic needle in his pocket.

Further search of the van located a loaded Ruger .22 handgun in plain view in the basket area between the front passenger and driver seats, police said. The loaded magazine matched that of the one located on the floorboard where Stolzenburg was sitting.

One of the other two individuals inside the van at the time of the incident allegedly told police that the handgun belonged to Stolzenburg. She said that Stolzenburg and another man had earlier pointed guns at one another in front of the apartments on Eastern Avenue, according to reports.

The other man who was driving the van at the time of the incident told police he knew nothing about the gun, reports said.

Stolzenburg was charged with having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony; improperly handling a firearm in a motor vehicle, a fourth-degree felony; aggravated menacing, a first-degree misdemeanor; possession of drug abuse instruments, a first-degree misdemeanor, and obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor.

He’s being held in the Fayette County Jail on a $10,250 bond.


By Ryan Carter

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica

Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica