While sitting in custody at the town police station early Sunday, Matthew John Lewis explained why he allegedly fired a rifle in the parking lot of a Jupiter bar.
Lewis, 23, of Jensen Beach, said he had just recently purchased the rifle and “didn’t feel safe” riding around with a loaded weapon, according to a police report made public Tuesday.
“I had one round, so (I) popped it out because I didn’t feel safe with it in there,” Lewis allegedly told officers.
That explanation did not keep officers from arresting Lewis on various weapons charges. Lewis also admitted to drinking two “tall boy” beers and smoking marijuana that he purchased for $125, the arrest report said.
He remained in custody at the Palm Beach County Jail on Tuesday night after a judge set his bail at $40,000.
According to police, the scene unfolded at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday outside Average Joe’s Pub on Indiantown Road. Witnesses told police that a man, later identified as Lewis, used a rifle that had a scope on it to fire one shot in the direction of the bar.
The police report does not indicate that anyone was struck by the gunfire. Lewis reportedly fled the scene in an older-model Oldsmobile.
Officers responding to the area, spotted the Oldsmobile, and conducted a felony traffic stop. During the arrest, officers found multiple grams of marijuana in Lewis’ pocket, the report said.
A bouncer from the bar told police that Lewis had been drinking there earlier in the night. Lewis and several others nearly got into a fight later that night in the bar’s parking lot, the bouncer told police.
Officers found a spent 7.62 caliber shell casing in the parking lot and a bullet hole in the building, next to the bar’s neon sign, the report said.
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