A homeless man armed with a loaded handgun who was trying to stop traffic on U.S. 1 last month has been federally indicted and faces a maximum punishment of life in prison, according to court records.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office initially charged Robert Allen Christiansen, 64, with carrying a concealed firearm, being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and resisting arrest.
A good Samaritan stopped to help a deputy wrestle the gun away from Christiansen.
Christiansen was allegedly trying to stop cars while hitchhiking the night of June 24 when a deputy stopped and asked him if he had any weapons on him. Christiansen replied that he had a pocketknife, according to a press release.
The deputy told him to keep his hands where they could be seen, but Christiansen appeared to be reaching for something, reports say. As the officer started to handcuff him, he reportedly saw the black handle of a gun in Christiansen's waistband.
A struggle ensued as the deputy tried to get the gun and the good Samaritan stopped to help while backup deputies were en route.
The gun reportedly was a Heckler Koch 9 mm pistol with six rounds loaded in the magazine, according to the indictment filed on July 16.
Christiansen has a previous conviction for armed robbery outside Monroe County, reports say. The gun incident in Layton marked the first time Christiansen was arrested in the Keys, according to Sheriff's Office jail records.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Garber on Wednesday ordered Christiansen removed from Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island to the custody of U.S. Marshals.
His first court appearance in Miami was scheduled for Thursday.