Driver with handgun scares off Amherst man who jumped in his car

NASHUA – James Paul had a busy Tuesday, Dec. 17, involving guns, a number of police officers, a few pairs of handcuffs and, eventually, a felony charge.

Paul, 33, of 32A Route 101A, Amherst, was arrested in Nashua on the afternoon of Dec. 17 after he was accused of trying to steal a car in the parking lot of Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, only to be held at gunpoint by the car’s owner until police arrived, police said.

But that was the second time that day that Paul was arrested, according to police in Hollis.

Police were called to a home on Plain Road in Hollis shortly after 3:30 a.m. when the resident reported that a man was outside pounding on the door and yelling, police said.

Hollis police officer Mitchel Cardona talked to the man, who turned out to be Paul, found he had no reason to be at the home and arrested him after he continued to be “loud and disorderly,” police said.

Hollis police charged Paul with disorderly conduct, a violation, and released him and ordered him to appear at Nashua district court on Jan. 8 to be arraigned.

That’s where Paul was the morning of Dec. 18, where he was arraigned on a misdemeanor charge of attempted unauthorized use of a vehicle, stemming from the incident in the hospital parking lot from the day before.

Nashua police said multiple witnesses called police shortly before noon and reported a confrontation involving a gun near Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, prompting police to shut down Medical Center Drive.

Paul is charged with getting into a car that was stopped, but running, in the medical center’s parking lot and trying to take it.

The adult male driver, who didn’t know Paul, repeatedly ordered Paul out of the vehicle and, fearing for his safety, pulled out a handgun and forced Paul out, according to Nashua police Lt. Michael Moushegian.

Patrol officers rushed to the scene and ordered Paul and the driver of the vehicle onto the ground before sorting out what had happened, Moushegian said. The driver was in legal possession of the firearm.

Finally, Paul is charged with damaging a sprinkler in the Nashua Police Department holding cell around 10:30 p.m., Dec. 18.

He was charged with interference with fire apparatus, which is a felony, according to Nashua police Lt. Denis Linehan.

Paul was held on $2,000 cash bail following his arraignment Dec. 18 and will be back in court for a probable cause hearing on Dec. 31, according to court records.

Joseph G. Cote can be reached at 594-6415 or jcote@nashua Also, follow Cote on Twitter