Local blogger faces new gun charges after warrant standoff

MacArthur had unregistered sawed off shotgun in home, police say

  • Frank James MacArthur is taken into custody by Baltimore City Police Saturday night in Waverly.
Frank James MacArthur is taken into custody by Baltimore City… (Justin George, Baltimore…)
December 04, 2012|By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

New gun charges have been filed against the Baltimore blogger who broadcast his standoff with police online via live radio as they tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant last week, according to court records and police.

Police said they found an unregistered sawed-off shotgun in his home.

Frank James MacArthur, 47, a cab driver and prolific social media user who has branded himself as a citizen-journalist and city watchdog through Twitter posts and online radio broadcasts under the name Baltimore Spectator, peacefully turned himself over to police outside his home in the 600 block of McKewin Avenue about 11 p.m. Saturday.

Police, and a SWAT team, were at his home to serve two warrants. Court records show a warrant was issued by his probation agent stemming from a 2009 gun case and another for subsequent failure to appear in court. Police said the SWAT team's presence was a precaution after MacArthur allegedly made threatening comments online.

The standoff lasted more than five hours and involved MacArthur's broadcasting his conversation with a police negotiator over the Internet, to thousands of listeners. The standoff garnered international attention, largely because of the compelling storyline of a live police negotiation gone viral.

Police searched MacArthur's home after he turned himself in, and allegedly found the weapon in an upstairs bedroom. Police previously said they had recommended charges be filed because MacArthur has a previous gun conviction from 2002 that disqualified him from having a firearm.

MacArthur has been charged with illegal possession of a firearm and with having an unregistered shotgun, records show.

He remained in custody late Tuesday, according to court records.



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