Portage police chief: Brandishing toy gun could have turned into a tragedy

This realistic looking pellet gun was confiscated by Portage police Feb. 2, after a 16-year-old boy was spotted firing it into the ground and pointing it at a friend. Police Chief Troy Williams issued a warning about such toy guns.

Provided

PORTAGE — A teen brandishing a pellet gun that closely resembled a real firearm nearly led to tragedy, Portage police said.

Following an incident late last week, Police Chief Troy Williams is issuing a warning about toy guns that mimic real ones in appearance.

Meanwhile, police revealed the teen previously was expelled from school in a similar incident.

About 1:40 p.m. Friday police were called to the 1800 block of Adams Street on a report that a male was brandishing a firearm toward another person and had shot the gun into the ground.

Williams said a dozen police officers raced to the scene. When they arrived, police searched the area and spotted a young man running in a field.

Officer Brian Graves was the first to spot the boy, later identified as a 16-year-old from Portage.

"Officer Graves could see the subject had a silver gun in his right hand and appeared to then place the gun into his coat on the left side of his body while using his left arm to support its position. Officer Graves exited his vehicle, drew his weapon and ordered the subject to show him his hands. The subject yelled 'don’t shoot' and lifted up his hands and arms causing the gun to fall to the ground as well as dropping what appeared to be ammunition," Williams said.

The gun turned out to be a Crossman chrome revolver pellet gun with black grip and look-a-like rounds to hold the pellets.

The teen, who had been expelled from Portage High School in November for bringing a BB gun to school, was arrested for disorderly conduct and taken to the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center.

Williams said the incident could have turned tragic.

"This incident had the extremely high potential to end tragically had the juvenile made any questionable moves with the gun, things could have ended differently," he said. "These types of toy guns will be treated as real by officers until they can be 100 percent sure they are not."

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Porter County reporter

Joyce has been a staff writer for The Times for more than 20 years. She is the municipal and education reporter for Porter County. She is an amateur genealogist and writes a blog, Remember your Roots, appearing online each Thursday.