The driver of a U-Haul truck that was impounded by the NYPD during a chaotic Occupy Wall Street protest last month has been jailed again. After Joshua Fellows's arrest on November 17th, police found an unlicensed .45-caliber handgun and 32 rounds of ammunition in the truck. Then Fellows, originally from Ohio, won the dubious distinction of being the protester with the highest single bail of anybody arrested in connection with New York's Occupy Wall Street protests. The movement agreed to pay his $25,000 bail, but now he's back behind bars, because it seems the gun violated of an order of protection taken out by his ex-wife.
Fellows, 32, was jailed immediately following an arraignment yesterday, when prosecutors told the judge he was in violation of a 2010 order of protection issued out Youngstown. The order of protection reportedly bars him from any contact with his ex-wife, and also from possessing guns. Police sources tell the Post they stopped the rental van, which was full of military-style tents, because Fellows was driving recklessly. But he was charged for disorderly conduct, and it wasn't until later that they found the gun wedged between the seats.
The gun, prosecutors say, was purchased in North Carolina, where Fellows had joined demonstrators at an Occupy Asheville protest. According to the Post, Fellows told officials that the .45-caliber weapon "was given to him because it went with his look." His bail was increased to $35,000, and he was taken into custody yesterday after pleading not guilty to criminal possession of a weapon, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 and 1/2 years prison.
After his initial arrest, Fellows's lawyer, Gideon Oliver, conceded that Fellows was driving without a license, but told the Atlantic, "I think there are serious questions about the stop. The police are supposed to have at least reasonable cause to suspect that criminal activity was afoot."