Fort Walton Beach Man Arrested for Possession of Firearm and Ammunition by Convicted Felon

Saturday, October 15, 2016

On July 27, 2016 the Fort Walton Beach Police Department stopped a white 2016 Toyota Rav4 on Bay St and Lovejoy Rd for a traffic infraction. During the course of the stop, Christopher Benard Battles was identified as a passenger in the vehicle.

Christopher Benard Battles

Christopher Benard Battles

As the Officer was talking to the driver, Jonathan T. Bowman, the officer observed a box of Hornady .45 ACP +P ammunition under Battles left thigh. Battles was occupying the front passenger seat of the vehicle. The officer further observed a silver metal object which he believed to be the butt of a pistol and the odor of marijuana coming from within the vehicle. The officer then had Bowman, Battles and the rear seat passenger exit the vehicle and detained them all.

As a result of forming probable cause the vehicle was searched. During the search, officers recovered the box of ammunition along with a Bersa Thunder 380 .380 ACP semi-automatic handgun in the right front passenger seat where Battles was sitting.

During a post Miranda interview, Battles denied knowledge of any firearm or ammunition and stated he had just jumped in the vehicle for a ride. Battles further admitted he was a convicted felon and knew he was not allowed to posses a firearm or ammunition.

During interviews with Bowman and Davis, the back seat passenger, it was revealed they had been at an area gun range earlier this same day.

A review of the security footage at the gun range revealed Battles firing a firearm.

A warrant was applied for charging Battles with Possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon on July 29, 2016 and was granted.

Battles was arrested on August 03, 2016 and was released later that same day on a $3,000.00 bond.

Click here to rear Battles arrest report.

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