Police: Toy Gun Leads to Juvenile Arrest in Belmont County

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A situation with a potentially deadly outcome has come to an end in Belmont County thanks to the fast thinking and quick actions of a Sergeant with the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office. 

Sgt. Tom DeVaul of Belmont County Sheriff’s Office was on patrol on Route 250 near Sunset Heights when he encountered a 14-year-old male with what appeared to be a hand gun.

When Sgt. DeVaul approached the teen he said the teen began frantically showing that the handgun was a toy. However, police say the teen had covered the orange safety tip that indicated the handgun was a toy with a marker or paint.

After noticing the safety tip did not indicate the handgun was a toy, Sgt. DeVaul responded to the situation as if the gun was real. He drew his gun on the teen and ordered him to put his weapon down. The teen complied and was arrested and taken to the Sargus Juvenile Detention Center.

“What I’m stating to parents is, if you have kids with soft air guns, you might want to advise them that if we show up on the scene; please do not brandish them and show us the air gun. Show us your hands alone, just your hands and nothing in them,” said Chief Deputy James Zusack.

According to police, the juvenile involved doesn’t seem to have any other charges on his background and police think he may have just made a poor choice, in carrying the gun with him.

Chief Zusack says they have reviewed the body camera video from the incident, and they’re not allowed to release it to us just yet, because it is still apart of evidence, but he says Sergeant DeVaul  did react in the appropriate fashion for this case.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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