WINTHROP – A Winthrop man was arraigned Tuesday on charges that he menaced people with a "realistic-looking" replica assault rifle during preparations for the town's 4th of July parade.
Gregory Gill, 23, appeared in Boston Municipal Court on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.
A judge released Gill on $500 bail and ordered him to remain under home confinement. Gill must also submit to GPS monitoring and follow other stipulations.
Prosecutors said that while parade preparations were underway on Saturday, Gill sat on top of a military vehicle that was in a parking lot on Revere Street. Gill allegedly pointed the republic assault weapon at passing cars.
Tyler Carr was driving along Revere Street in Winthrop Saturday afternoon when she saw a man standing on top of this military vehicle - aiming a seemingly real AK-47-style weapon at people driving by.
"He saw me, kind of locked eye contact with me and pointed the gun at my head and yelled 'Headshot.'"
After the incident, the victims flagged down a Winthrop police officer to report what prosecutors called a "terrifying incident." Police found the replica gun in the military vehicle and arrested Gill.
"This was a weapon that wasn't orange. It was the same dark colors a long rifle would be," said Winthrop Police Chief Terrance Delehanty. "The fear for us is that weapon gets pointed at us... deadly force is something that arises."
Gill was arrested outside of Duval's Auto Body Shop. The shop owner says Gill isn't his employee but was giving his Jeep a tow when he started rummaging through his military vehicle and found the replica.
"He started rat-ta-tat-tatting, pretending to shoot people going down the street. So I told him, I said, 'Hey, come on, knock it off.'" said Richard Duval who owns the auto body shop.
The incident came days before a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade in Illinois that left seven people dead and dozens more injured.
"We just witnessed six people slaughtered as they attended a July 4th parade outside Chicago. At this national moment in America, one can only begin to fathom the terror of seeing an apparent assault weapon pointed at you," Suffolk District Attorney Kevin Hayden said in a statement. "This incident reminds us that a dangerous weapon in the wrong hands can change lives and communities in an instant. This man's victims had no reason to believe that the gun trained on them was anything short of the real thing. My office is treating these acts with the seriousness they deserve."
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