Columbus man accused of aiming weapon at witness recording street fight sentenced

A Columbus man who aimed a rifle at a witness who was recording a street fight has been sentenced.

Arthur N. Daniels, 30, was given an 18-month sentence Thursday by Bartholomew Circuit Court Judge Kelly Benjamin.

However, the Jones Street resident may not have to spend any more time behind bars. The judge ordered that Daniels serve his sentence through a community corrections program that will require home monitoring or other methods of probation.

Officers were sent to the area of 14th and Pearl streets Feb. 3 to investigate a complaint about threatening behavior, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed Feb. 6.

Upon their arrival, a neighbor told police he began recording two males engaged in a public street fight, the affidavit stated. The man said he wanted to have evidence in case the brawl deteriorated into a worse crime, it stated.

But the witness said that when Daniels saw him recording the fight, he pulled a hunting rifle out of a duffel bag, pointed the firearm at the man doing the recording and threatened to shoot him if he didn’t stay out of the matter, the affidavit stated.

After Daniels walked away, the neighbor called police and provided a description of the suspect, as well as which direction he was going, the affidavit stated.

When officers found Daniels walking northeast of where the fight took place, he admitted being at the fight  – but Daniels insisted the neighbor was the one who pulled a gun on him, the affidavit stated.

During a body search, officers discovered Daniels was carrying a small quantity of an anti-anxiety medication, the affidavit stated.

After arresting Daniels for the drugs, officers began retracing his steps from the fight. With the assistance of a police dog, the bag and rifle were found along the route in an open shed in the 1500 block of Chestnut Street, Columbus Police spokesman Lt. Matt Harris said.

When Daniels was brought back to the scene of the fight, several witnesses identified him as the man who had made threats with the rifle, the affidavit stated.

Three days later, Daniels was charged in court with intimidation as a Level 5 felony, pointing a firearm at another person as a Level 6 felony, and a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance.

Two weeks before Daniels posted a $2,500 cash bond on March 15, the judge issued a no-contact order between Daniels and the victim that remains in force.

On May 5, a plea agreement emerged during a court hearing that allowed Daniels to plead guilty to one count of pointing a firearm as a Level 6 felony. In exchange for the guilty plea, the other two charges were dropped.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.