January 29, 2013 - 12:06 PM
A routine arrest earlier this month could have turned out much differently after police found the suspect with a replica handgun.
Kelowna RCMP were called Jan. 19 to deal with a man pointing a handgun in an alley near Richter Street and Wardlaw Avenue. They found Jordan Jones, 21, with a fake weapon so similar to the real thing, police have trouble telling the difference between it and the real thing.
While Jones was taken into custody without incident, RCMP spokesperson Const. Kris Clark says police don't have the luxury of examining a suspect's weapon before engaging them. They have to rely on knowledge, experience and perception in order to respond.
"When faced with the apparent threat of a firearm, the results could be disastrous," he said.
One of the officers happened to own the real version of the exact model seized.
Clark says the law treats firearms and replicas the same when they're used to commit a crime.
"If you rob a gas station with a replica, it's the same thing as using a real firearm. The teller doesn't know the difference," says Clark.
He says replicas use air, spring action or gas to launch projectiles but aren't powerful enough to be classified as firearms.
Jones was charged with uttering threats and assault with a weapon. He has since been released and will appear in court Feb. 18.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013