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Ponsford man appears on gun-waving incident

Steven Lee Larson

PARK RAPIDS - Steven Lee Larson learned quickly how expensive a reckless act can be.

The Ponsford man faces three charges after police said he waved a gun out a car window May 14, frightening two people walking on Main Avenue.

The woman driving the vehicle, Brittany Tschudi, will not be charged in the incident.

Larson, 24, appeared in Hubbard County District Court Monday, free on bond.

He faces two counts of felony Second Degree Assault With a Dangerous Weapon, each punishable by a maximum of seven years and/or a $14,000 fine upon conviction.

He is also charged with Possession of a Small Amount of Marijuana, which carries a fine of $300 upon conviction.

Larson, who apparently didn't initially qualify for a public defender, told District Judge Robert Tiffany he tried contacting three different defense attorneys, who wanted retainers of $6,000 to $7,500 up front, and would be charging $200 per hour from then on.

Obtaining a public defender is based on a variety of factors relating to financial necessity, including income, assets and other sources of money. Many workers making around $10 per hour have found they're ineligible, but each finding is based on individual factors.

Larson admitted he couldn't pay such fees to a private attorney. The judge advised him to fill out the "long form" to determine his eligibility and he would be notified if he qualifies.

No subsequent dates have been set for his court appearances until he can find representation.

Authorities seized an FEG handgun and located the gun's magazine 10 feet away from the traffic stop, which Larson allegedly threw out the window as law officers closed in on the vehicle.