BPD Weekend report

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Police take toy gun off teenager

By John Howell Sr.

Batesville police reported that the event-filled weekend that included graduations and SpringFest was relatively uneventful from a law enforcement perspective.

With one, hair-raising exception.

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As uniformed and plain-clothes officers circulated on the downtown Square through the Saturday night crowd, “a citizen walked up to us and said he thought he saw some white powder and money exchanging hands,” said Batesville Police Department Special Operations Division Commander Nick Hughes.

“We’d already been watching the guy,” Hughes said.

When Special Operations Officer Charles Tindall approached the man, he began a search for drugs.

“When Charlie patted him down, he found that in his back pocket,” Hughes said, pointing to what appeared to be a black, semi-automatic pistol.

“I was expecting to find narcotics and I felt the butt of a gun,” Tindall said. When he pulled the gun from the suspect’s pocket, “It looked like a real weapon. He kept saying: ‘It ain’t nothing but a toy,’” the officer said.

The black handgun was similar in appearance to a number of semi-automatic pistols, even the standard Glock semi-automatic that Police Chief Tony Jones carries.

Instead, it was a Daisy Powerline 15XT air pistol that fires a .177 caliber pellet. The pistol may have had a bright orange tip at one time which had been removed. However, Internet photos of the new models of the air pistols show them without orange tips. Stamped on the side of the air pistol is a warning message.

No drugs were found, but the 15-year-old juvenile was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

Whoever the citizen was who told police what he saw, “I’m thankful they reported it,” Jones said.

“Kids just don’t think,” Jones said. “It’s the parents’ responsibility.”