SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Connecticut man was stopped by an off-duty officer following a crash in downtown Springfield where a firearm was seized.

According to Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh, officers from the Gaming Enforcement Unit were called to a crash at the median of MGM Way and State Street around 8:45 p.m. on Friday. The vehicle involved in the crash narrowly missed a large group of people.

The driver, later identified as 33-year-old Steven Houser of Rockville, Connecticut, attempted to run away after the crash but an off-duty West Springfield Police Officer coming back from a Thunderbirds game was able to stop him. A woman bystander saw a gun in Houser’s waistband and she was able to remove it. Springfield officers arrived and arrested Houser and seized a firearm from his possession.

Credit: Springfield Police Department

A victim arrived later and told police that Houser allegedly pointed the firearm at him while he was in his vehicle at Riverfront Park. In fear for his life, the victim said he hit Houser with his vehicle trying to escape the area. Houser then allegedly chased after him in a vehicle, leading to the initial crash.

Houser has been charged with the following:

  • Attempt to Commit a Crime (Firearm-Armed Carjacking)
  • Carrying a Firearm without a License
  • Carrying a Loaded Firearm without a License
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License
  • Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle
  • Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident

Houser is currently on probation in Connecticut and was found to have cut off his court-ordered ankle bracelet earlier that day. He was taken to the hospital for his injuries in the crash. A booking photo was not available due to him being hospitalized.

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