But for the forebearance of a Wauwatosa police officer, a 14-year-old boy might have become a casualty of his own foolishness.
Besides taking an air gun that was a facsimile of a black semi-automatic handgun to Mayfair Mall in the first place, he ignored the orders of a Wauwatosa police officer who had his weapon drawn on him.
Stopped with two friends just outside the mall, instead of keeping his hands up, he reached into his pants and pulled out the gun.
He quickly tossed it into the snow. The officer held his fire.
According to police reports:
Just before 5 p.m. on Dec. 27, police responded to more than one report from the mall that one of a group of three boys was carrying a gun.
Mall security monitored the boys, and a Wauwatosa police officer arrived just as after they walked outside. The officer approached the boys from behind, drew his gun and ordered all three to stop and put their hands up.
One boy disobeyed, and instead stuck his hand into his pants. Even as the officer shouted at him to stop instantly, he pulled out what appeared to be a large black pistol. He quickly tossed it into the snow in front of him.
The officer repeated his orders yet again, and this time all three boys obeyed. A second officer arrived and retrieved the gun – which proved to be a plastic soft pellet air gun.
The boy was arrested for carrying a facsimile firearm. He told officers he had brought it with him for fun and hadn't meant for it to be seen, but it kept slipping down his pants and he showed it when he pulled it back up.
He also said that he wasn't thinking when he pulled out the air gun while a police officer was covering him with a real handgun. He said he just knew it was going to get him in trouble and he wanted to get rid of it.
The three boys, two 14 and one 13, said they had come to the mall because they had seen on Facebook a call for some kind of large gathering there. According to other reports, police and community watch groups had discovered such a “flash mob” plan and broken it up before it started.
In other incidents:
At 2:35 p.m., a 20-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested at Macy’s in Mayfair Mall for theft and possession of marijuana after he was seen stuffing a $42 Polo hat down his pants and trying to leave the store. He also had plastic bag containing eight smaller “corner cut” bags of marijuana in his underwear.
At 12:28 p.m., a 30-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for theft from Pick ‘n Save, 6950 W. State St., after she was seen hiding one bottle of liquor under her coat and two more down her pants and trying to leave without paying. She was detained without incident.
Police are seeking an unknown subject who was seen at Target, 3900 N. 124th St., during thefts of video game controllers on Dec. 19 and 29 and is suspected in at least 10 similar thefts at other area Target stores. The suspect is described as white and 20 to 25 years old, around 6 feet tall, 160 to 180 pounds, with sandy blond hair. He was last seen wearing a camouflage jacket and blue jeans and was driving an older model Jeep Cherokee.
A 48-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested at the Pick ‘n Save store at 1717 N. Mayfair Rd. for the sixth time in two months after he was seen putting a bottle of liquor down his pants. The man has been repeatedly banned from the store by management and through a court order. He has open cases on similar charges and circumstances for thefts at other Wauwatosa stores as well. He was once again sent to jail to await charges of theft and bail-jumping.
A resident of the 7600 block of West Wisconsin Avenue reported that overnight someone punctured both passenger-side tires on his truck while it was parked in his driveway. The police report referred to another such incident the same night but no report had been filed on that call.
A resident of the 700 block of North 116th Street reported that between 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. someone smashed the front passenger window in his car and stole a fleece coat while he was at Xperience Fitness, 2885 N. Mayfair Rd.
At 7:21 p.m., two Milwaukee girls, 15 and 17 years old, were arrested for theft at Mayfair Mall after a clerk at Claire’s reported seeing one of them conceal some merchandise in her purse. Both girls were stopped and searched, and between them they had items stolen from Claire’s, Ragstock and Pac Sun.
At 5:17 p.m., a 48-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft and possession of drug paraphernalia at the State Street Pick ‘n Save after he was seen hiding two bottles of brandy under his coat and trying to leave. When asked by police if he had anything else on him that he shouldn’t, he said, “There is a crack pipe in my right pocket.” And there was.
A watchman at Hart Park reported that some time overnight someone threw a brick through a kitchen window in the Muellner Building. He estimated the damage at $500.