Man arrested for possession of weapon as a convicted domestic abuse offender

A call to police Tuesday about alleged threats being made turned out to be not what it appeared — but one man was arrested for possessing weapons as a domestic abuse offender.

“Shortly after 11 this morning, officers were called to the Starlite,” Fort Dodge police Capt. Ryan Gruenberg said. “The original call said he threatened to shoot up the place, but we quickly determined that was not the case.”

What really happened, Gruenberg said, wasn’t clear, but it stemmed from an argument which Alex Harper, 40, had with a woman.

“Ultimately, we determined this male and another female were in some kind of verbal argument prior to this occurring. The message got spread through third party that this male had a gun and may shoot up this lady’s house,” Gruenberg said. “It doesn’t look like the threat was ever made to shoot up the Starlite. It’s just as it passed through people, by the time it got to us that’s how it was construed.”

Officers found Harper on scene at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn and Suites, 1518 Third Ave. N.W., and identified him after talking with witnesses, Gruenberg said. He was found to have in his possession a Sig Sauer Mosquito .22 caliber handgun.

That gun had been stolen out of Calhoun County, Gruenberg said.

Harper was charged with four things, Gruenberg said, the most serious of which is possession of a firearm by a domestic abuse offender, a Class D felony.

He’s also charged with carrying weapons, posession of stolen property, and failure to possess a weapons permit.

“From everything we could find, at no time did Mr. Harper display the gun to anybody, or threaten anybody directly with it,” Gruenberg said.