By Joe Johnson
An Athens teen was arrested Monday afternoon for reportedly having a loaded stolen pistol.
According to Athens-Clarke County police, 17-year-old Jason Ivan Martinez of Wisteria Way was charged with theft by receiving stolen property and possession of a handgun by a person under 18 years old.
A police incident report indicates that officers were in Bishop Park at about 4 p.m. when they observed a male standing next to two vehicles, yelling and cursing.
As the officers drove toward the vehicles, the male pointed at the patrol car and got into a vehicle, which sped away with the other vehicle on Sunset Drive towards Jefferson Road, according to the report.
An officer conducted a traffic stop on one of the vehicles, a car driven by Martinez that did not have valid insurance, at which time the officer noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car, according to the report.
A search of the vehicle turned up a small amount of pot and a glass pipe, and a loaded 9mm semiautomatic pistol was located under a floor mat where Martinez had been sitting, according to the report which noted that a computer check of the gun’s serial number showed that it was reported stolen in the county last August.
“Martinez was read Miranda warnings and advised initially that he didn’t know anything about the gun but that the marijuana was his,” according to the report. “When asked again about the gun he said that it was his and that he found it at a park and kept it because he felt he needed it for protection.”
The circumstances of the gun's theft could not be immediately learned, but ACCPD this week posted a notice on its Facebook page that, in light of numerous car break-ins, urged people to lock their cars and secure their firearms at home.
Martinez was taken to the county jail and he was released Monday night, upon posting good security bonds totaling $7,500, according to the jail’s website.