Man indicted in connection with chase that ended with gunshot

Man indicted in connection with chase that ended with gunshot
James Christian (Source: Jefferson County Correctional Facility)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The man accused of leading police on a chase that ended with a handgun accidentally going off in downtown Watertown has been indicted.

A Jefferson County grand jury handed up a 15-count indictment against 43 year old James Christian.

Christian was taken into custody in August.

Members of the Metro-Jefferson Task Force said they tried to arrest Christian on drug sales and possession charges contained in a sealed indictment, but that set off a foot chase to the nearby Top of the Square plaza parking.

As Christian allegedly fled, police said they saw Christian throw away a handgun they had spotted tucked into his waistband. The weapon fired accidentally.

Police said that’s when Christian complied with their orders and they took him into custody.

The gun was recovered and no one was injured.

The grand jury indicted Christian on the following charges:

  • 2 counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance
  • 2 counts of seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance
  • 2 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon
  • 1 count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon
  • 2 counts of criminal possession of a firearm
  • 3 counts of criminally using drug paraphernalia
  • 1 count of first-degree reckless endangerment
  • 1 count of second-degree reckless endangerment
  • 1 count of resisting arrest

According to the indictment, Christian possessed heroin and methamphetamine and intended to sell it back in May. He also allegedly possessed a 20-gauge shotgun.

During the August 19 chase, the indictment says he created “a grave risk of death to police officers and the public” with the loaded .22 caliber revolver he threw on the ground.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.