Good Samaritan Helps Apprehend Armed Man Brandishing Two Loaded Guns In Manhattan
Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Ivan J. Arvelo, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”), and Keechant L. Sewell, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the arrest of JASON FLEMING after he brandished a loaded semiautomatic Hi-Point carbine rifle and a loaded Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver in broad daylight after a dispute in a bodega in Chelsea. FLEMING was arrested after a civilian, seeing FLEMING running down the street with a revolver in his hand as police were chasing him, stood in FLEMING’s way and pushed him into a nearby fence and then held onto him until police officers, who were still in pursuit, placed FLEMING under arrest.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, the defendant illegally brandished two loaded firearms in broad daylight on a Manhattan street, one of which was a carbine rifle, frightening numerous New Yorkers, including a child. Thanks to our law enforcement partners and the heroic efforts of a Good Samaritan, the defendant was apprehended before he could hurt anyone, and his weapons are now off the streets.”
HSI Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo said: “HSI special agents are committed to public safety and do not hesitate to act when members of the community are threatened. I am proud of our agents’ hard work and efforts with the rapid apprehension of this criminal and the follow-on investigative support provided to the New York City Police Department. HSI remains steadfast in our commitment to our law enforcement partners in the cause of community safety.”
NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said: "The firearms allegedly displayed by the defendant in this case have no place on the streets of New York City. The NYPD will continue to aggressively pursue anyone who uses these illegal weapons to threaten the people we serve, and we will employ every resource available to hold them fully accountable. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, the New York Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations, and everyone else who aided in this arrest."
According to the allegations in the Complaint:
On or about March 16, 2023, JASON FLEMING entered a crowded bodega in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan after having a verbal dispute with a man. FLEMING then stood in the doorway of the bodega and flashed a handgun as a girl attempted to leave the bodega. The child then ran away from the store when she was able to pass by FLEMING onto the sidewalk. The surveillance video then shows FLEMING outside the bodega and pulling back his coat momentarily to reveal a rifle that had been swung over his shoulder.
Police officers then approached FLEMING after a witness called 911, and FLEMING took off running down the sidewalk. While running, FLEMING brandished a semiautomatic carbine rifle in broad daylight while frightened civilians began running away from him, as seen in the below screenshots from surveillance videos:
FLEMING then threw the rifle over a fence near where customers were dining at a restaurant’s outdoor dining shed. Law enforcement officers recovered the rifle and found that it was a loaded semiautomatic Hi-Point carbine rifle, a photograph of which is below:
Meanwhile, after throwing the rifle, FLEMING brandished a revolver and continued running down the street, with police officers in foot pursuit. A nearby civilian, seeing FLEMING running down the street with a revolver in his hand, stood in FLEMING’s way and pushed him into a nearby fence and then held onto him until police officers, who were still in pursuit, placed FLEMING under arrest and handcuffed him. A screenshot of FLEMING, brandishing the revolver after the civilian made contact with him, is below, along with a photograph of the revolver:
FLEMING was not permitted to possess firearms because of his two prior felony convictions for unlawful firearms possession.
* * *
JASON FLEMING, 39, of New York, New York, is charged with possession of firearms after a felony conviction, which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison.
The statutory maximum penalty is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of HSI and the NYPD. Mr. Williams also thanked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives for its assistance in this case.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent & Organized Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael R. Herman is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint, and the description of the Complaint set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.