BB gun stand-off gives residents a Halloween scare

The in­cid­ent closed Frank­ford av­en­ue and ended with a SWAT raid.

Hal­loween got off to a genu­inely scary start on Monday when po­lice closed off Frank­ford Av­en­ue at Al­legheny Av­en­ue due to re­ports of a man armed with a scoped rifle.

  After an hours-long stan­doff — and after many loc­al chil­dren were well in­to their even­ing of trick or treat­ing — po­lice dis­covered the man was armed with noth­ing more than a BB gun.

  No shots were fired and no one was in­jured in a strange case that tied up traffic in Port Rich­mond and Kens­ing­ton for hours as po­lice sur­roun­ded a home along the 3200 block of Frank­ford Av­en­ue while a man bar­ri­caded him­self in­side.

  Po­lice on scene said the in­cid­ent star­ted at around 3:50 p.m. when someone in the COM­HAR Men­tal Health build­ing, loc­ated just across the street from these homes, re­por­ted see­ing a man in a win­dow of the home point­ing a rifle out at the street.

  Capt. Tom Dav­id­son of 24th Po­lice Dis­trict said that the man was also spot­ted on the roof of the row home bran­dish­ing the rifle.

  When po­lice ar­rived the man bar­ri­caded him­self in the home. As of Tues­day, Nov. 1, the man had not yet been named or charged with any crime but was in po­lice cus­tody for ques­tion­ing.

  An­oth­er man in the home was also taken in­to po­lice cus­tody, but at the time, po­lice wer­en’t sure of his in­volve­ment.

  “I’m just the main­ten­ance guy!” the second man was heard to yell as he was taken away in hand cuffs.

  While the situ­ation turned out to be harm­less, for some time, res­id­ents were shocked and con­fused about what was hap­pen­ing on the street.

  One wo­man, who was out trick or treat­ing with her chil­dren, said po­lice told her to stay in­side a nearby store and not to leave un­til they gave an all-clear.

  But, she snuck out of the store and walked around the neigh­bor­hood with her chil­dren in de­fi­ance.

  “They wanted us to stay in the store, but we snuck out,” said the wo­man who asked not to be iden­ti­fied. “I want to take my kids out for trick and treat.”

  “This is just crazy,” said Lu­is Ros­ado, 21, who lives nearby on Tulip Street.

  Ros­ado said he was go­ing to stay home this Hal­loween, but when he saw all the po­lice activ­ity, he was curi­ous and wanted to see what was go­ing on.

  “I’m scared be­cause, at the mo­ment, we don’t know what he’s do­ing in­side,” said Ros­ado, who hung around to watch much of the stan­doff un­fold. “I’m just glad no one got hurt so far. Hope­fully, we can all get home safe and cel­eb­rate Hal­loween the right way.”

  As the sun set, res­id­ents along Frank­ford Av­en­ue hung out of their win­dows to watch the activ­ity.

  Dur­ing the stand off, po­lice had passed a phone in­to the build­ing to try and talk to the man.

At about 6:30 p.m., po­lice SWAT teams raided the build­ing and ap­pre­hen­ded the man.

  As they packed up their gear, SWAT team mem­bers could be seen laugh­ing about the situ­ation.

  “You can all go home, it was just a BB gun,” laughed one of­ficer as he walked passed a small gath­er­ing of re­port­ers.

Re­port­er Hay­den Mit­man can be reached at 215-354-3124 or hmit­ 

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