The man accused of shooting a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer earlier this week appeared in federal court Friday, facing a charge of armed robbery.
James William Lewis, 31, was brought into U.S. Magistrate Judge David Cayer’s courtroom in a wheelchair, wearing an orange Mecklenburg County jail uniform.
Lewis was struck in the leg during an exchange of gunfire with CMPD Officer Shane Page on Tuesday morning. Page was part of a team of local and federal law enforcement agents attempting to serve an armed robbery warrant on Lewis at a Fort Mill home, police said.
A federal criminal complaint, filed Friday, alleges that Lewis, of Kings Mountain, N.C., robbed a Jack in the Box restaurant on Pineville-Matthews Road on Dec. 12.
“Lewis entered the restaurant and asked the manager for money while brandishing a weapon,” the criminal complaint said. “The manager handed Lewis cash, and Lewis fled the scene.”
Around 6 a.m. Tuesday, Page, 42, was with a violent-criminal apprehension team working with agents from the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force and the York County Sheriff’s Office to find Lewis, who had been previously convicted of possession of cocaine and car theft.
Apprehension team officers are deputized through the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service and can pursue suspects who flee the county or the state. Page has been a member of CMPD’s unit since it was started in 2006. The unit uses SWAT-style tactics to pursue and arrest violent criminals accused of murder, rape, robbery and other crimes.
Police said Page and other officers used a loudspeaker to advise Lewis to come out of the home in the 300 block of Brookside Drive. When he didn’t, police tried to enter. Page was shot twice in the midsection when he opened a door.
In April 2006, Page was a member of a SWAT team that included Officer Kayvan Hazrati, who was shot in the head by a suspect. Hazrati recovered but was unable to return to police work. Page earned a CMPD Medal of Valor for helping a fellow officer.
During Friday’s hearing, Lewis told Cayer that he would be unable to hire a lawyer and has essentially been homeless the past two years.
Cayer said an attorney would be appointed for him. Prosecutors have asked that Lewis be held without bond.
Cayer set a detention and preliminary hearing for Lewis on Wednesday to determine whether he’ll receive bond. He remains in federal custody at the Mecklenburg County jail.
A South Carolina judge signed arrest warrants Thursday against Lewis for attempted murder, possession of a firearm during a violent crime and resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, The Herald has reported.
Staff writer Cleve R. Wootson Jr. of The (Charlotte) Observer contributed. Jonathan McFadden and Rachel Southmayd of The Herald also contributed.
Trenda: 704-358-5089; Twitter: @htrenda