Panicked shoppers alerted Joliet police to a man stuffing a black pistol into his back pocket and striding into the Louis Joliet Mall, but it turned out he was just packing a BB gun he bought earlier and wanted to return.
Still, walking around with a black BB gun in your back pocket is enough to get you arrested, even if you don't happen to have five small bags of marijuana in another pants pocket, not to mention that warrant.
And that's exactly what the police say 23-year-old Denver resident Maurice Stansberry had on him during his Monday afternoon trip to the mall, police said.
Stansberry's trouble started when he bought the BB gun from the MC Sports in the mall about 1 p.m. Monday. Rethinking the purchase, Stansberry decided to return the BB gun a half hour later.
While he was in the mall parking lot, police said, shoppers saw him holding the black, apparently realistic-looking BB gun and placing it in his back pocket as he headed into the mall. Those same people, fearing the worst, called the police.
Officers sent to the mall tracked down Stansberry and he reportedly informed them, yes, that was him with the black pistol in his pocket, but that it was only a BB gun and he had returned it to the sporting goods store.
BB gun or not, the officer arrested Stansberry on a charge of disorderly conduct. Then it turned out Stansberry had a traffic warrant out of DuPage County. And to top it all off, he was allegedly carrying five small bags of marijuana.
In spite of all those legal problems, Stansberry was released on his own recognizance.