FORT WALTON BEACH – A man who fled from police told officers later that the gun they found in the area was his.

He said he had placed it under a bush in a fenced-in area of a local hotel because he was afraid his room would be raided by police.

He said he was loitering in the area near the bush to protect his gun.

The 26-year-old Destin man has a previous conviction for grand theft of a firearm.

He was charged with loitering and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.