Man faces felony charge after gun incident near West Chester Walmart

Suspect allegedly stole machete and Modelo, then fired rounds into the ground.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

A West Chester Twp. man is facing a felony count and two misdemeanor charges after Monday afternoon’s incident behind the Walmart on Cincinnati-Dayton Road that attracted more than a dozen law enforcement officers to the area.

Joshua Knowlton, 26, was booked into the Butler County Jail about 5:15 p.m. on charges of using a weapon while intoxicated and theft, both first-degree misdemeanors, according to the jail log.

Knowlton was video arraigned Tuesday in area court, where an additional charge of having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony, was added. Knowlton has a 2016 conviction for burglary, according to court documents. Bond was set at $12,000.

Knowlton allegedly stole a machete and Modelo beer from Walmart, sparking the charges for “knowingly possessing a weapon while voluntarily intoxicated and for firing several rounds into the ground behind Walmart,” according to police and township officials.

The arrest followed an extensive search of the wooded area around the West Chester Twp. store beginning about 12:50 p.m. with a a report of a man in with a rifle walking behind the building, Barb Wilson, township spokeswoman, said.

About 15 police officers from the township and other agencies checked the area after a report was received. A drone and K-9 units were also used.

Police also searched a West Chester Twp. residence on Summerhill Drive late Monday afternoon. Wilson said the search was connected to the investigation outside Walmart.

No buildings were evacuated.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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