Authorities respond to gun callWORTHINGTON — The Worthington Police Department, with assistance from the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a report of a man in a vehicle with a gun at 11:26 a.m. Friday on Fourth Avenue in downtown Worthington.
By: Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Police Department, with assistance from the Nobles County Sheriff’s Office, responded to a report of a man in a vehicle with a gun at 11:26 a.m. Friday on Fourth Avenue in downtown Worthington.
A witness reported a man with a handgun in his car and two children in the back seat.
Three juvenile males from Worthington were taken into custody, but not before passers-by in the downtown area got an eyeful.
Law enforcement officials arrived at the scene and enacted a felony stop, with hand guns and an M16, ordering the individuals to the ground before cuffing them and putting them into squad cars.
Worthington Public Safety Director Mike Cumiskey said the arrests went down exactly as they should have — exactly as the officers are trained to respond.
Because the officers were aware a gun had been spotted, Sgt. Tim Gaul was armed with the M16 which has been converted for police use. Gaul, who is the Use of Force officer at the Worthington Police Department, conducted the felony stop.
“The worst thing an officer can encounter is a shoot out,” Cumiskey explained. “A shoot out without equal guns is a nightmare.”
As it turns out, the witness actually saw three juvenile males with what Cumiskey described as a BB pistol or air gun.
“They were monkeying around with it, passing it back and forth,” he explained. “One of them held it out the window and shot into the air, which drew the attention of the passerby who called it in.”
Cumiskey said there is no way for officers to tell the difference between a real pistol and some of the BB gun replicas until someone is very close.
“They look so real,” he added. “I hope retailers in town don’t sell them.”
Shortly after the incident, a visitor to Worthington stopped in at the Daily Globe office bearing a camera. Ray Muller, known as TBay Ray, from Thunder Bay, Canada, was in town for the Worthington Windsurfing Regatta and had captured the event on video. He graciously volunteered the footage, which can be seen on our Web site at www.dglobe.com.
Cumiskey had a chance to view the video and was pleased with what he saw. He plans to use the footage as a training aid, and had no objection to the video’s placement on the Daily Globe Web site.
“It’s a chance for people to see how we respond to this kind of call,” he stated. “Professionally and with integrity.”
He also acknowledged the fact that many people carry cameras with video capability.
“This day and age, we could be filmed everywhere we go,” he said.
Officers will investigate to see if the three juveniles are involved in a recent rash of BB gun vandalism.