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Man accused of brandishing handgun; PD suspects guns stolen

The suspect denied to police that the guns found on his person were stolen.

(File Photo; Trevor T. Trujillo, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — A Casper man is currently facing one felony and two misdemeanors in Natrona County Circuit Court after being accused by witnesses of brandishing a firearm at passing motorists while walking on the street.

An affidavit filed in Natrona County Circuit Court says that officers responded to an area near the intersection of North McKinley and East E Streets, following reports by emergency dispatch of an armed pedestrian who was pointing a handgun at a passing vehicle.

Officers report that they identified a pedestrian matching the description of the suspect and took the individual into custody. Two handguns were found on the suspect’s person and were described in the affidavit as a Rock Island 1911 .45 caliber and a Colt 1911.

Court documents say the reporting party claimed they were traveling in a vehicle with multiple others northbound on McKinley near F Street, just before 10:15 p.m. June 23. Witnesses say that a male suspect was observed in the area waving a pistol over his head, and that the suspect pointed the gun at the vehicle as it drove past.

The driver of the passing vehicle told police that they feared the suspect would fire on them and that they accelerated away from the location.

The suspect, identified as 41-year-old Jason A. Franke, is said to have told officers that he was the owner and original buyer for both weapons. However, he misidentified the caliber of the guns when speaking to the officers. Police report that the guns matched the description of firearms that were allegedly taken from a home on Saint Mary Street in Casper earlier in the evening.

The affidavit also says that Franke showed signs of alcohol consumption at the time he was contacted, and he told officers that he had consumed more than one 40-ounce bottle of domestic beer during the day. It adds that police found just over half a gram of suspected methamphetamine on the suspect’s person.

Police say that the investigation into the burglary is ongoing, but that a victim in the case reported that a screen had been torn off a bedroom window of the reporting party’s home and that the guns were removed from inside. It was also reported that a 40-ounce bottle of domestic beer was left outside the window and was believed to have belonged to the suspect.

The suspect denied that the guns found on his person were stolen.

Law enforcement records show Franke was taken into custody at the Natrona County Detention Center on Wednesday night. Jail records showed that Franke was still in custody at the facility Friday evening. He was listed as not having a bond in the case.

He currently faces a charge of Aggravated Assault, a felony, and misdemeanor charges of Reckless Endangering and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.