3 years, 8 months ago
A report from Farmington, Maine:
We can’t imagine why a 20-year-old man was carrying around a toy gun Thursday night in Farmington, but he must have had his reasons.
Instead of a night on the town with his toy pistol, John Cushman ended up at the Franklin County Detention Center charged with terrorizing.
Cushman “made lots of people nervous,” according to Deputy Chief Shane Cote of the Farmington Police Department, as he strolled around the downtown.
Employees of the Homestead Bakery first called police at 9:50 p.m. They were so concerned by Cushman and his gun that they also called The Roost pub to warn them.
Roost employees locked their customers inside until police arrived, and then asked for a police escort for them when they left.
Farmington police officer William Tanner had trouble finding the toy gun troublemaker, but he finally caught up with him outside Dunkin’ Donuts.
The gun looked real to Tanner until he saw the orange ring indicating it was actually a toy, which must have been a relief.
For frightening people, as well as for some threatening statements he had made on an earlier occasion, Cushman was charged with terrorizing and taken into custody, which eased a lot of people’s minds.
But the incident says a lot about how people generally regard other people carrying guns in public — with suspicion.
It is legal to carry a gun openly in Maine, and it’s equally legal to carry a look-alike replica. Few people do, which is probably a good thing considering the ruckus it causes in populated places.
I have no idea why Mr. Cushman wanted to carry a toy firearm either when he could have legally carried a real one. Maine is indeed an open carry state; moreover, they have no stop and identify statute.
Causing terror to the public would necessarily involve an illegal activity such as brandishing a firearm. It appears to me that the Farmington Police Department illegally detained Mr. Cushman, and the folks of Maine needs to read up on their rights.