Real Danger

A Frewsburg man has been charged with menacing following an incident involving a BB gun Sunday in Jamestown.

City police have charged Cody E. Lauffenburger, 21, with second-degree menacing after police said he pointed a gun at a female victim and made comments about shooting her. The incident, according to a police report, occurred just before 11 p.m. near the intersection of East Sixth Street and Lakeview Avenue.

Officers were dispatched Sunday night after the female said two male subjects were possibly in possession of a handgun. Police were advised that one of the males pointed the gun at the female.

Two men were stopped in the area of Seventh and Pine streets who matched the description of the males. Lauffenburger was found to be in possession of a BB gun that resembled an authentic handgun.

The female victim alleged that Lauffenburger said he was going to shoot someone before pointing the gun at her. The victim said she did not know the male subject; she told police she thought the BB gun was a real handgun and that Lauffenburger was going to shoot her.

Lauffenburger was being held in Jamestown City Jail pending arraignment.

Due to their realistic appearance, police handle incidents involving BB guns as though real guns are being used.

“The fact that they appear so real is the real danger,” said Capt. Robert Samuelson of the Jamestown Police Department. “We get into situations sometimes where responding officers don’t know that the gun isn’t real.”

Samuelson said the police department routinely tells parents to monitor BB guns when not being used and to keep the orange tip intact.

As for the dangers of BB guns, that largely depends on the manufacturing. “That can be dangerous,” Samuelson said. “It depends on the gun, but at close range they can do some damage.”