01/04/2012

Video: Teen with Airsoft gun safely disarmed

Johnstown police are defending an officer who told weapon-toting teen to drop what he thought was a firearm

By PoliceOne Staff

JOHNSTOWN, Ohio — Johnstown police are defending an officer who told a teen to drop a weapon that turned out to be an Airsoft gun.

Responding to a report of shots fired and possible burglary, the officer saw a suspect carrying what he believed to be a firearm, according to NBC 4i. Dash cam shows the officer stop, draw his service weapon, and tell 16-year-old Paxton Chang to walk backward toward him. Paxton said the officer told then him to put the gun down.

Chang's mother said that because the officer pointed a weapon at a teen out with his friends, police went "too far."

"I couldn't believe they would pull a gun on a 16-year-old child," Chang's mother said. "They were playing, and it was obvious what they were doing."

In the video, the officer is heard clearly explaining to the teen why he drew his weapon.

"I'm 50 feet away, and I can't tell they're a child. I see someone running away from someone who's aiming a gun with a ski mask," the officer said to Byrne.

Despite the alarmist cries from family, police will not conduct an investigation, and officers agree the cop was in the right.

"It's snowing. It's dark. He's 50 to 75 feet away from him ... It would look like a real gun," Johnstown Police Lieutenant Josh Boudinot said. "I don't know of anybody who wouldn't think that was real at the time," Boudinot said, adding that lately there have been several reports of shots fired in the area.

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