AP man holds 6 children at gunpoint over lawn sign accusation

By SUE SUCHYTA Sunday Times Newspaper ALLEN PARK – A 56-year-old Allen Park man was arrested for aggravated and felonious assault at 8:12 p.m. Oct. 29 after holding six children at gunpoint for allegedly knocking over his lawn campaign sign. The man, who lives in the 10100 block of Sterling, said that the week before his house was egged and his political lawn signs damaged, and when he heard children outside his house and saw the sign on the ground, he had his mother call the police, and went outside to confront them. The six children, ranging in age from 12 to 14, said they were walking west on the south side of Pennsylvania at the intersection of Sterling, headed for a nearby park, when the man ran up to them from the north side of Pennsylvania, yelling at them and using profanity. They said the man accused them of damaging his sign, pointed a pistol at them and told them to sit down on the grass. When they tried to tell him they did not damage his sign, they said he told them to “shut the f—k up” and called one of the children a “little c—t.” They said he held the gun on them while his mother called the police. The children were questioned by officers separately, and provided consistent accounts. Each provided a written statement for the detective bureau. The man told officers he was upset because he thought the children had damaged his Trump sign earlier in the week. He said he had not seen any of them damage his sign, nor did he have surveillance video proving his allegation. The man said that when he heard the children outside his house, headed north on Sterling toward Moore, he noticed at the same time that his sign was lying on the ground. He said “he felt threatened because he was outnumbered” and “he wanted to scare the kids.” The man said the pistol was unloaded, and was holstered when he removed it from his waistband. An officer entered the house with the man, saw the unloaded, holstered pistol in the man's dining room, and took it, securing it in his police vehicle. The man was then arrested for felonious assault, and taken to the Allen Park police station for booking and further questioning, before being held at the Dearborn police station. The man's concealed pistol license was confiscated, and the man, who has seven registered firearms, was advised that he was not allowed to carry a concealed weapon until he had a hearing with the Wayne County Gun Board. (Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)
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