Police plan arrest of rifle-toting man
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
By RON COLQUITT
Mobile police said they plan to arrest a man today who scared people Friday evening as he walked through a Spring Hill neighborhood with a loaded, semiautomatic AK-47-style rifle.
Officers confiscated the rifle Friday but could not take the man into custody until they had a warrant signed by both a magistrate and the man who made the complaint, Mobile police spokesman Officer Eric Gallichant said.
Gallichant said that on Monday, a magistrate signed a warrant for a charge of disorderly conduct, and officers expected to obtain the signature of one of the witnesses today. Once that is done, the man will be arrested, he said.
Gallichant said, however, that he would not release the man's name Monday because officers had not yet obtained the second signature needed to activate the warrant.
While it is not illegal to carry an assault rifle, it is against the law to use the gun to alarm people, Gallichant said.
"I think it is important that people understand that although he may not be specifically charged with carrying a weapon out in the open like that, just the act of doing so can cause public alarm, which is covered by disorderly conduct," Gallichant said.
"Carrying one around in that manner in the neighborhood, even though he did not point it at someone, is not to be taken lightly."
The man who had the gun lives on Oakwood Lane, Gallichant said.
Jeferey Quinelly, another Spring Hill resident, filed the complaint and most likely will be the person to sign the arrest warrant, Gallichant said.
Spring Hill resident Sean P. Costello said the man, who is in his early 20s, was spotted by several people about 6 p.m. Friday, walking along Oakwood and Dilston lanes.