[StBernard] Realistic Toy Guns Concern St. Bernard Parish S.O.

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Thu Jul 7 23:26:11 EDT 2011

Realistic Toy Guns Concern St. Bernard Parish S.O.
Sandra Gonzalez

6:18 PM CDT, July 7, 2011


Toy guns can look very real and can mean real trouble, not only for
children, but also for people up to no good. Fake weapons are popping up in
St. Bernard Parish incidents.

They've come a long way from those drugstore cap guns. And Chief Deputy
Jimmy Polhmann of the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office can't believe how
realistic some of today's toy guns, confiscated by his department, look:
from pistols to shotguns.

"The problem is that these officers engaged in a call for service where an
individual may be carrying a weapon may handle and treat these things as if
they're real weapons," Pohlmann said.

Deputies asked a teenager to put down one of the seized toy guns at
nighttime, because at night you can't tell if it is real or a toy.

"The worse case scenario, the boy could have been shot. I think what happens
in a child's mind is that he's carrying a toy weapon and he's probably not
connecting the dots that the officer is treating him in a situation that
this is a real weapon, so he was probably reluctant to drop that weapon,"
Polhmann said.

One that looks like a real shotgun is actually a air-soft gun, covered in
black tape to make it look more realistic.

All toy guns sold on line or in stores are legally required to have an
orange rim to distinguish it is a toy, but the confiscated ones have all
been. Deputies recovered it when a man tossed it on the street during an

"It was quite alarming when they saw a gun come out and he tossed it to the
ground. Thank goodness he did because something much worse could have
happened," said Col. John Doran, Chief of Detectives for the St. Bernard
Parish Sheriff's Office.

So whether toy guns are being used to intimidate, or just as child's play,
the Sheriff's Office is concerned someone may get hurt.

The St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office is encouraging parents to keep an
eye on their kids' toy guns. The orange tip needs to stay on for their own

No charges were filed against the teenager who had the air shot gun, but
it's a different story when a fake weapon is used to commit a crime.

Copyright C 2011, WGNO-TV

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