A man stopped at a traffic light told Boise police that he feared he was going to be shot after he looked over and saw another motorist pointing a gun at him on May 22.
The victim said the man yelled something at him while he was at the intersection of Overland and Orchard streets. The man with the gun, who knew the victim, police said, continued north on Orchard.
Police combed the area and received a tip that the man, later identified as Brian L. Chance, 30, of Boise, was parked in a pickup truck outside the Fred Meyer store at 5230 W. Franklin Road.
Boise resident Sue Day was waiting in her car next to the store when she saw several police cars drive into the parking lot and surround a pickup. The truck had extensive front-end damage, so Day said she thought it had been involved in a hit-and-run wreck.
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The driver’s side window was rolled down a couple of inches and Day said she could see cigarette smoke drifting outside.
“The cops yelled at him to get out. He just sat there,” said Day, who had waited outside while her boyfriend went inside the store to purchase some items.
Day estimated that 15 or 20 minutes elapsed before the man stepped out of his pickup.
“They yelled out to him to put his hands up and to walk backward to them,” she said.
At that point, Day said she believed the drama was over. However, right then, several Fred Meyer employees came out of the store and said that police had instructed them to usher the 15 to 20 people standing outside into a vestibule inside the store.
“They told us it was getting dangerous and that we needed to come inside,” Day said.
With the man in custody, Day said she did not understand why they were ordered inside the store. She said a store employee stood guard and prevented anyone from leaving. After about 15 minutes, Day and the others were allowed to leave.
No one came to provide an explanation, she said.
Police located a gun that was described as an air soft pistol, a realistic-looking gun that shoots pellets and is typically powered by compressed gas.
Chance was taken to the Ada County Jail, where he was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
He was arraigned Tuesday in 4th District Magistrate Court and remained in custody Saturday morning on $50,000 bail. His attorney filed a motion Wednesday seeking a reduction in bail. No hearing has been scheduled on that motion.
Chance is set to return to court June 8 for a preliminary hearing.
The confrontation between the two men and Chance’s arrest were not publicly disclosed by the Boise Police Department until Friday, after a Statesman reporter received a tip and questioned department spokesman Ryan Larrondo.
He said officers cleared the parking lot and took Chance into custody without incident.
The police department typically issues news releases on major incidents and other items of public interest. Larrondo said there was “no reason why nothing was released publicly” on this case.
Chance has an extensive criminal record. Boise police arrested him in early April and accused him of domestic battery or assault in the presence of a child. He pleaded not guilty in that case and is scheduled to go to trial Friday.
Two weeks after that incident, Chance was arrested by Boise police for violation of a no-contact order. He pleaded not guilty in that case as well, and is scheduled for trial on June 26.
Chance was convicted of rape of a female under 16 in a 2006 case out of Washington County. He was sentenced to three to seven years in prison and was released in October 2013.
In Ada County, he has convictions for malicious injury to property, reckless driving, driving without privileges and driving with an invalid license. He was convicted of petit theft in Canyon County.
State court records show that Chance still owes $1,335 in restitution over a 2006 case in Washington County, where he pleaded guilty to five counts of issuing insufficient-funds checks.