Man with pellet gun arrested near president's motorcade route - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Man with pellet gun arrested near President Obama's motorcade route

Joseph Stravinskas, 27 Joseph Stravinskas, 27
BLOOMFIELD, CT (WFSB) -

The man arrested for having a pellet gun near President Barack Obama's motorcade route insisted to police that his actions had nothing to do with the presidential visit.

According to the Bloomfield Police Department, a police detective from Simsbury was monitoring traffic near the intersection of Central Avenue and Cottage Grove Road and said he heard noises from the rear of 7 Central Ave. that sounded like someone was hiding in the woods.

Upon searching the area, a man, later identified as Joseph Stravinskas, 27, was found in the rear yard with what appeared to be a rifle with a scope aiming at cans propped up at targets.

The officer said he told Stravinskas to drop the weapon, which was a pellet gun with a scope, at which time Stravinskas turned and dropped his aim.

But not the weapon and that resulted in Stravinskas instead aiming the weapon at police.

Stravinskas ultimately complied and was arrested.

Police said he told them that he is homeless and had been staying at 7 Central Ave.

Stravinskas's lawyer told Eyewitness News that he was visiting a friend's house Monday and knew the motorcade had passed by, but didn't realize it would be coming back.

"Honestly, we were so unaware," said friend Brandon Hightower. "I was in the house playing video games to be quite frank."

Police told Eyewitness News they have no reason to believe this target practice had anything to do with the president's visit.

However, it caused enough commotion for them to file charges.

"You can't take any precaution when it comes to presidential security, so we understand why police had to investigate," his attorney Corey Brinson said. "But, once the police learned the president wasn't in the vicinity, that my client was shooting at soda cans, which they confirmed in the report, that should have been the end of it."

Stravinskas was charged with breach of peace, threatening and interfering with a police officer and appeared in Hartford Superior Court Tuesday afternoon.

In court, Eyewitness News learned that Stravinskas was convicted of simple assault, DUI, sixth-degree larceny and second-degree failure to appear in Vermont.

The judge said she took the multi-state history of charges and violations of probation into consideration when setting Stravinskas's bond at $50,000. He remained in prison Tuesday night.

"The secret service interviewed him thoroughly and if they're not concerned about it, they didn't take him into custody," Brinson said. "The state of Connecticut shouldn't be either."

Brinson told Eyewitness News that he will ask for the charges to be dismissed.

"The whole thing will be ironed out with the proceedings of the court room," said Hightower, who attended his friend's arraignment. "He's a nice, guy. I trust him. It was a misunderstanding."

Neighbors told Eyewitness News that they have never seen anyone shooting pellet guns in their neighborhood.

"There was no overreaction because how do you know what it is? That's a chance your taking," said Norma Hughes of Bloomfield. "And that's the president, you don't play."

Obama was in Connecticut late Monday afternoon to talk about federal gun control measures in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in December.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • TPD investigates attempted robbery at south Toledo restaurant

    TPD investigates attempted robbery at south Toledo restaurant

    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:23 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:23:34 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    Toledo police are investigating an attempted robbery at a south Toledo Bambino's Pizza & Sub restaurant. Police say around 9:15 Wednesday night, a man tried getting into the store but it was locked. That's when he pulled out a gun and pointed it at a worker. The suspect then tried getting through a side door which was also locked. He then ran away. The suspect did have his face and hands covered. Follow WTOL:   Download our app here.  Copyright 2018 WTOL....More >>
    Toledo police are investigating an attempted robbery at a south Toledo Bambino's Pizza & Sub restaurant. Police say around 9:15 Wednesday night, a man tried getting into the store but it was locked. That's when he pulled out a gun and pointed it at a worker. The suspect then tried getting through a side door which was also locked. He then ran away. The suspect did have his face and hands covered. Follow WTOL:   Download our app here.  Copyright 2018 WTOL....More >>
  • Judge orders second round of psychological evaluation for Toledo serial killer

    Judge orders second round of psychological evaluation for Toledo serial killer

    Thursday, April 19 2018 9:03 PM EDT2018-04-20 01:03:29 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    One of two brothers who admitted to stalking, raping and killing young women in the 1980's is one step closer to walking out of prison. Nathaniel Cook was back in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Thursday. Nathaniel confessed to three murders in all with his a older brother Anthony. Anthony is considered the ringleader of the crimes and is serving two life sentences. Under a plea agreement hammered out by prosecutors and defense lawyers, Nathaniel would be free after 20 years for adm...More >>
    One of two brothers who admitted to stalking, raping and killing young women in the 1980's is one step closer to walking out of prison. Nathaniel Cook was back in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Thursday. Nathaniel confessed to three murders in all with his a older brother Anthony. Anthony is considered the ringleader of the crimes and is serving two life sentences. Under a plea agreement hammered out by prosecutors and defense lawyers, Nathaniel would be free after 20 years for adm...More >>
  • Hancock County approves $1.5 million to upgrade county jail

    Hancock County approves $1.5 million to upgrade county jail

    Thursday, April 19 2018 8:27 PM EDT2018-04-20 00:27:05 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    Hancock County voters turned down a sales tax to raise money to upgrade their county jail. Now, the county will have to borrow money to make mandated upgrades. Earlier this week, Hancock County Commissioners approved to fund 1.26 million dollars worth of repairs and upgrades at the hancock County Jail. To pay for the work, the county will issue and sell 1.5 million dollars in short term notes to be paid back at a later date. The largest project will be replacing cell doors...

    More >>

    Hancock County voters turned down a sales tax to raise money to upgrade their county jail. Now, the county will have to borrow money to make mandated upgrades. Earlier this week, Hancock County Commissioners approved to fund 1.26 million dollars worth of repairs and upgrades at the hancock County Jail. To pay for the work, the county will issue and sell 1.5 million dolla

    More >>
Powered by Frankly