Gun found after ‘tense incident’ downtown

A 27-year-old Lawrence man was charged with felony aggravated assault Monday for having a gun during a disturbance early Sunday in the 700 block of Massachusetts Street.

Aubrey E. Gilbert was being held in the Douglas County Jail on $10,000 bond following an appearance before Judge Pro Tem Peggy Kittel.

The disturbance broke out between groups of people shortly after 2 a.m., according to police reports. Police gave the following account:

A crowd of people gathered around a pickup truck and were banging on it. An officer saw one man step in front of the truck as the driver attempted to drive away. The man was struck and run over by the truck.

The officer motioned for the truck to stop and people again gathered around it and attempted to get inside the truck. The officer tried to keep the crowd of up to 30 people away as other officers arrived to assist. The truck was driven away but was stopped by police at 10th and Indiana streets.

The man who was hit by the truck, identified as Gilbert, was found sitting in a vehicle on Massachusetts Street after the incident. He refused medical treatment.

Officers found Gilbert wearing an empty pistol holster and a handgun was found under the seat of the car he was sitting in. He also became “verbally abusive” with officers, authorities said. When Gilbert was being placed under arrest, bystanders ran toward police and had to be controlled by other officers.

A passenger in the truck that had driven away later told police that Gilbert pointed a gun at them and that was why they were trying to drive away from the area. The driver of the truck was not arrested. An investigation is continuing.

Two other people were arrested for unlawful assembly. They were released and are to appear in Municipal Court next month.

Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Fellers said officers dealt with a “very tense incident” involving a crowd and a gun.

“We received little, if any, cooperation from the crowd of people involved,” he said.

Gilbert is to appear Monday before Judge Jack Murphy for scheduling of a preliminary hearing.