Berkeley resident carrying replica firearm detained, arrested

Yellow tape reading "POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS" over a road, white, red, blue lights can be seen in the blurred background.
Daniel Kim/File

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A Berkeley resident carrying a replica firearm that had been modified to resemble an air rifle was detained and arrested by Berkeley Police Department early Saturday morning, according to a Nixle alert released Tuesday afternoon.

About 12:18 a.m. Saturday, patrol officers on San Pablo Avenue spotted a suspect holding a visible gun in his hands, which he was “swinging in the air as he walked,” according to the alert. The suspect put the gun in his jacket as the officers drove closer.

The officers proceeded to get out of their patrol vehicle and draw their duty weapons, ordering the suspect to put his hands in the air. Instead of complying, the suspect put his hands in his jacket and pulled out the handgun, the alert said. He dropped the gun after officers ordered him to do so, and he was detained by the authorities.

BPD determined that the suspect, who was intoxicated, had actually been carrying a “replica firearm” — in this case, a BB gun — that lacked the orange tip that usually marks it as a replica, according to the alert. The suspect, a 48-year-old Berkeley man, was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and possessing an imitation firearm that had been altered to resemble an air rifle.

Amber Tang is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @ambertang_dc.