A Quincy man who went to watch a friend appear in the Roxbury courthouse to face gun charges was himself arrested on a gun charge – while he was in the courthouse parking lot, authorities said today.
Jaquan Bennett,19, was arraigned today in Robxury Municipal Court where he pleaded not guilty to illegal possession of a firearm, second offense. Bail was set at $25,000 cash.
Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said Bennett was also ordered held without bail for allegedly violating the terms of his probation stemming from a 2009 illegal firearm possession case.
Prosecutors said Boston police from the Youth Violence Strike Force were in the area Thursday after Roxbury court officials expressed concern about Bennett and others who watched as Girold Grand-Pierre was arraigned on illegal firearms charges.
Bennett and the others left the courthouse, but when they spotted police, they changed direction, police said. Bennett was seen walking towards a white minivan parked next to the Warren Street courthouse, prosecutors said.
Rush hour traffic trapped the minivan inside the parking lot and Bennett was allegedly seen opening the rear door of the vehicle and twice reaching inside the interior, prosecutors said.
Police found a loaded 9mm handgun in the pocket on the back of the front passenger’s seat, a location prosecutors said was “right where the officers had seen him reaching.’’
Asked by police about the firearm, Bennett allegedly replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
According to prosecutors, Bennett was in the Roxbury court Thursday to attend the arraignment of Girold Grand-Pierre, who was arrested by Boston police on Wednesday following a car and foot pursuit that covered a large portion of Roxbury.
Grand-Pierre pleaded not guilty to two counts of illegal possession of firearms filed after police recovered two revolvers he allegedly tossed into a dumpster. Bail was set at $20,000 cash.
Conley said in a statement that Bennett’s intention was not immediately clear. But, he added, “Whatever his intentions, absolutely nothing good can come of a loaded handgun in the hands of a felon outside one of New England’s busiest courthouses.’’
Joan Kenney, a spokeswoman for the state court system, said no one tried to bring a gun into the courthouse, where metal detectors are in place to screen people.
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