Teen arrested with a 'realistic looking' BB gun in downtown Rochester
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - A 17-year-old male was arrested late Wednesday night in downtown Rochester after fleeing officers with what appeared to be a handgun.
The Rochester Police Department responded to the intersection of 2nd Street SW and 1st Avenue SW around 10 p.m. to a report of a suspicious person. The caller described the individual in detail and said he had a gun tucked in his waistline.
When officers arrived to the scene, they tried to make contact with the teen. He became uncooperative and refused to show his hands, according to police.
The teen then tried to take off on foot, but officers were able to catch up with him after a short pursuit and place him in custody. The gun he was carrying dropped to the ground during the foot chase. Police later discovered it was a "very realistic looking" BB gun with fake bullets.
Capt. John Sherwin said the officers exercised good judgement in a difficult situtation — pointing to recent events across the country in which officers were criticized for relying too heavily on the use of force.
"This is one of those that could have had an alternate outcome," said Sherwin.
The teen later told officers that he often presents the air gun as a real handgun for protection. He could be charged as an adult with three misdemeanors.
(Cover photo: Rochester Police Department)