URBANA — An Urbana woman who said she possessed a weapon to protect herself from an abusive man was charged Thursday with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.
Urbana police arrested Ashley Hines, 20, who listed an address in the 900 block of Lierman Avenue, about 3:40 p.m. Wednesday.
Sgt. Dan Morgan said an officer on patrol in the 1000 block of South Lierman Avenue saw a man and woman next to a vehicle apparently arguing and struggling over the woman's purse.
As the officer got out of the squad car, the man yelled, "She's got a gun in the purse," Morgan said.
"The officer then snags the purse, puts both of them in handcuffs, searches the purse, and found a handgun in the purse," Morgan said.
Morgan said the woman, identified as Hines, told the officer she carried the gun for protection from the man she was arguing with when the officer saw them.
Morgan said the officer ran a check on the gun and found it had been reported stolen from Sangamon County in 2005. Morgan said Hines did not say where she got the gun.
The man with whom she was arguing was not arrested.
Judge Chase Leonhard allowed Hines to be released on her own recognizance and ordered her to be back in court Sept. 25.