A 14-year-old boy pointed an imitation handgun at officers Sunday night, police said.
Police found and arrested him after a brief search, and also recovered the weapon, which was so realistic that officers couldn’t tell it was an air gun until they had it in hand and tried to unload it.
Police officials said that, presented with what appeared to be a very real gun pointed at them, the officers would have been justified in opening fire to defend themselves. As it happened though, the threat evaporated quickly, as the teen almost immediately fled into a nearby house.
The incident happened just before 11 p.m. Sunday in the 700 block of Craig Street. Patrolling officers saw one of the teens with the apparent gun, pointing it toward the street.
The teen turned the gun at the approaching patrol car, then fled into the house. Police spokesman Lt. Mark McCracken said it was unclear if the teen knew the car was a police cruiser.
Officers gave chase, then arrested the teen as he tried to go out an exit. They found the gun outside the house. It was made to look like a real Smith & Wesson pistol, but in reality, it was a CO2-powered air gun. Guns such as these typically shoot BBs or pellets.
“I can’t stress how much this looked like a real gun,” McCracken said. “It was an exact replica.”
Faced with what appeared to be a real gun pointed at them, he said officers would have been justified in using deadly force.
The boy was charged in juvenile court with second-degree menacing and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, misdemeanors. Because he is charged as a juvenile, his name was not released.
The case is to be prosecuted in Schenectady County Family Court.