Five women were fortunately unharmed following a terrifying incident in Crofton Friday night.
The women were at the Crofton Seniors’ Centre on Joan Avenue for carpet bowling when a man clearly under the influence of drugs was seen outside the building with a weapon. They obviously did not know if it was a real gun or not, but didn’t take any chances. None of them had a cell phone, but one used the phone inside the centre to call 911 while the other four withdrew to the other side of the hall until police arrived.
The women asked not to be identified for their protection, but one of them said the guy was also twerking while brandishing the weapon that further scared them.
Five police cars arrived on the scene and officers with weapons drawn eventually arrested the man. The officers located the handgun, which turned out to be a Glock replica BB gun.
While on the line with the dispatcher, “we kept talking and I said something like we were a little bit worried about the handgun,” said one woman. “I said it sure looked like a gun. I’d seen a gun before.
“Police said we did the right thing phoning them. It did turn out to be a pellet gun, but we didn’t know.”
Never mind trying to tell the difference between a real gun and a replica, the only difference between a BB gun and a pellet gun is that a BB gun shoots a round copper BB, and a pellet gun shoots a small lead projectile in the shape of a shuttlecock. Either way, they can dangerous to the public as well.
The women weren’t about to make any distinctions in their predicament. When dealing with weapons, officers are trained to approach these situations by ensuring their safety as well as public safety. Handling replica weapons in public places is obviously not recommended, as the public and police, for that matter, may mistake the replica for a real gun.
Persons committing a crime with a replica weapon can be charged with a criminal offense.
In this case, charges are not being pursued at this time and the weapon has been destroyed.
One of the women said the man is known to police. He is believed to be from up-Island and had moved on.
“I’m pleased that our frontline officers were able to safely deal with this situation and no one was hurt,” noted North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Insp. Chris Bear.