Charleston man arrested for bike theft, assault

Stephen Miernicki

A 33-year-old man was arrested early Monday morning after Charleston police officers said he threatened to shoot a homeless man with one of his dozen firearms, then took his bicycle.

Stephen Matthew Miernicki faces a charge of larceny of a bicycle and simple assault in connection with the incident near his apartment at 286 Meeting St.

According to a report from the Charleston Police Department, the homeless man offered to help Miernicki get home because the man thought he was intoxicated. But close to the apartment building, Miernicki became irate with the man and "threatened to harm him with a gun," according to the report.

Just after midnight, the man dropped his bicycle, walked away and flagged down police officers. In Miernicki's apartment, the officers said they found the $50 bicycle in "plain view," along with 12 firearms, including three AK-47s and four .308-caliber assault rifles. The police valued the collection at $5,300.

Police spokesman Charles Francis said all the firearms were legally owned.

"The weapons were taken for safekeeping as the subject was arrested and charged with threats," he said. "The weapons will be returned."