Suspect allegedly points stolen gun at 23-year-old man during altercation

A woman police believe pointed a stolen pistol at a 23-year-old male Sunday pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Ft. Benning incident.

Atteelah Pendergrass, 22, appeared in Recorder's Court Monday to face the pointing a pistol at another and theft by receiving stolen property charges she received for the alleged 8:49 a.m. incident that occurred in the 4400 block of Victory Drive. She was issued bonds totaling $6,000 and ordered to be held at the Muscogee County Jail immediately following the morning hearing.

The woman didn't injure the man but allegedly pointed the weapon at him as a tool of negotiation during an altercation, Columbus officer Robert Nicholas testified Monday.

Police responded to the 4400 block of Victory Drive Sunday at 8:49 a.m. in reference to a call about a verbal altercation between a male and female and found the suspect and victim leaving a room, Nicholas said.

Nicholas went on to mention that Pendergrass and the victim went in separate directions and headed down two different staircases, and he and another officer approached one of the individuals to question them about the altercation.

Nicholas said Pendergrass told police that she didn't know the male and just let him stay in her room overnight after she found him wandering around drunk in the parking lot the night. The suspect also said he offered to pay her $40 for sexual favors and though she was tempted to accept, she refused his proposal and demanded he leave the room, the officer told the court.

She reportedly told police that the man kept making the same offer and refused to leave the room, which prompted her to withdraw a 9mm pistol from the waistband of her blue jeans, point it at him and again tell him to leave the room, Nicholas said during the hearing.

The victim allegedly told a Columbus officer that he offered $40 to smoke weed and hang out with him, Nicholas said. He told police that she then got upset, stating that her time was worth more than $40, Nicholas said.

The victim showed police text messages of a conversation between the two in which she was giving him instructions and asking him where he was, Nicholas testified.

Nicholas told the court that while speaking with Pendergrass immediately following the altercation, he noticed a bulge at the right side of her waistband, beneath her sweater. She allegedly saw the officer looking at the area and stated that it was her gun lifted her sweater, exposing a handgun stuck behind her waistband, police said.

Nicholas said she allowed him to hold the weapon while he questioned her and later check the gun's serial number. Pendergrass reportedly told him that she purchased it from a pawn shop in Union City Nov. 29, 2014.

A database revealed that the pistol was reported stolen from Huntsville, Ala. in June 2012 and police were not able to locate the particular pawn shop Pendergrass was referring to.