A convicted felon told a police officer he forgot his mother’s gun was in his backpack when he and another man were arrested on weapons charges after a recent traffic stop in Ocala.
Richard Allan Decker, 40, was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jonathan Erick Doody, 42, was charged with carrying a concealed firearm and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.
Decker was behind the wheel of a gray Saturn on Nov. 11 when an Ocala Police officer pulled him over on North Magnolia Avenue for not wearing a seatbelt. He told the officer he forgot to put it on and that his driver’s license and registration were inside his backpack, which was located on the left rear passenger seat, according to the police report.
The officer asked Decker if he had any weapons in the vehicle or bag and he said he didn’t. At the officer’s direction, Decker got out of the car, removed the backpack and placed it on top of the trunk of his vehicle. Asked again whether there were any weapons in the bag, he said there were not, the report said.
When Decker opened the top flap of the backpack, the officer observed what appeared to be a black holster and Decker said something to the effect of, “I guess there is a weapon in the bag.” Upon a closer look, the officer saw what appeared to be the handle of a semi-automatic pistol sticking out of the holster. After being placed in handcuffs, Decker said the pistol belonged to his mother and that he forgot that he placed it in the bag earlier in the day, according to the report.
Decker said the bag belonged to him and he has a prior felony conviction. A search of the bag revealed there was a loaded M1911 pistol inside the holster, which also contained two spare loaded magazines in the magazine pouch. Also in the backpack was a green leafy substance and a glass pipe that contained a burnt residue of what appeared to be marijuana. The substance and residue tested positive for marijuana, the report said.
Decker told the officer he carries the weapon for protection because he was robbed at gunpoint several weeks ago. He admitted the marijuana and pipe belonged to him and that he uses it to smoke marijuana, according to the report.
Doody, who was a passenger in the car, told the officer he had a weapon in his possession as he was getting out of the vehicle. He then clarified that he had a pocketknife and a firearm. A pat-down revealed Doody had a loaded pistol in a holster inside his pants belt, covered by his shirt. When asked if he had a valid concealed weapons permit, he said he did not, the report said.
Both men were taken to the Marion County Jail. Decker was released Nov. 8 on $12,000 bond, while Doody is still being held on $2,000 bond. No court date was set for Decker, and Doody is scheduled to appear on Dec. 10.