By Paul Thompson
Northeast business owner David Jungerman, owner of the Baby-Tenda Corporation at 131 Belmont Blvd., has been charged by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office with two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, one count of Armed Criminal Action, and a count of Assault in the 4th Degree in relation to a recent shooting incident at a local recycling center.
According to charging documents, police involvement in the matter began just before 1 p.m. on March 8, when officers were dispatched to Jungerman’s business at 131 Belmont Blvd. Jungerman claimed that an employee had seen a white van leaving his business with stolen pipes hanging out the back. Less than 10 minutes later Jungerman called police again, this time stating he was armed with a weapon at the 12th Street Recycling Center (4300 E. 12th St.) in an attempt to prevent the thief from selling the stolen pipes.
Dispatchers heard yelling and arguing in the background during the call, which concluded with Jungerman saying that the thief ran off, and that he was attempting to pursue. Shortly thereafter, a witness who worked at the recycling center called and said that a white Ford van driven by a pregnant female with a white male passenger had just sold 780 pounds of iron pipe to the business. After the transaction, an older white male, later identified as Jungerman, appeared with a silver pistol and fired off a shot. The white male and female involved in the transaction fled, with Jungerman following. Five minutes later, the witness said, Jungerman returned to accuse her boss of buying stolen property.
Another witness reported hearing a gunshot and looking outside to see Jungerman point a gun at a white male, who was in the lot standing next to the white van. That witness confirmed that Jungerman then left, but returned later in a “belligerent” manner, and was eventually told to leave the property.
When police officers arrived at the scene, they found an uncooperative Jungerman. The officers eventually placed Jungerman in handcuffs and towed his vehicle to the City impound lot. Once video surveillance was obtained by authorities, they were able to determine that Jungerman pointed a handgun at the white male victim/alleged thief on multiple occasions. The video also showed Jungerman pointing the handgun only a few inches from the victim’s face, which caused the individual to turn and run.
At that point, Jungerman turned his attention to the white van, attempting to pull the female from the vehicle. When Jungerman was taken into custody, police executed a search warrant and found a .38 revolver with one spent shell casing and four live rounds in the center console.
During a follow-up interview about the incident, Jungerman stated that his intentions were merely to hold the thieves at the scene until the police arrived. As for the shot he fired, Jungerman said that it was simply a warning shot.
“Missing him would have hurt my pride,” Jungerman said, according to the charging documents.
Before filing charges, police returned to the 911 recording to verify the accounts of all involved. The recording shows, in explicit terms, that a shot was fired by Jungerman as he attempted to keep the thief at the scene.
Prosecutors have requested a bond of $1 million.