RUPERT — Two men are charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after a Rupert woman told police they pointed a semi-automatic handgun at her outside of a residence on Fourth Street.

James Arthur Hicks-Anderson, 21, and Francesco Stephano Podesta, 23, both of Rupert, are each charged with one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with an enhancement charge for using a firearm in the commission of the crime, according to court records.

Both men were arrested July 18 and arraigned the next day in Minidoka County Magistrate Court.

The woman said she heard a vehicle’s horn honking outside her residence in the early morning hours of July 14. When she went outside, she heard a man yelling at her from a Ford truck. She approached the truck so she could understand what he was saying and saw that Podesta, who was driving the truck, had a semi-automatic handgun. The woman said Hicks-Anderson and another man were with Podesta in the truck.

When she and the man from the residence retreated from the intersection of J and Fourth Streets to their front porch, Hicks-Anderson took the gun from Podesta and approached the sidewalk at the residence, court documents say.

The woman said he racked the slide of the gun, while calling her a rat, and then he fled on foot.

Officers did not find any live rounds ejected from a gun at the scene.

During interviews, Podesta said he and Hicks-Anderson had driven to the residence and he’d honked the horn on his vehicle “multiple times.”

He told police he and the man at the residence engaged in a verbal altercation outside of the residence, but he and Hicks-Anderson both denied threatening the woman.

When asked by officers to show them the gun, Podesta showed them a black and silver .380 caliber Taurus semi-auto handgun, according to court records.

Preliminary hearings for both men are slated at 1:30 p.m. on July 31 in Minidoka County Magistrate Court.

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