Man With BB Gun Near Obama Motorcade Route Arrested: Cops

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Joseph Stravinskas appeared in court Tuesday. His lawyer says authorities overreacted to his client's actions near the presidential motorcade route on Monday. (Published Tuesday, Apr 9, 2013)

    Bloomfield police took a man into custody on Monday afternoon when he was found with a BB gun  near the route President Barack Obama's motorcade was taking, according to police. 

    Police said on Monday that a man was standing near the intersection of Charter Avenue and Cottage Grove Road while President Obama's motorcade passed and that officers noticed him him pacing back and forth before pulling out what appeared to be rifle.

    On Tuesday, police said Joseph Stravinskas, 27, was shooting at cans behind a house about half an hour before the presidential motorcade came by.

    President Obama was in Connecticut on Monday afternoon to meet with families who lost loved ones during the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December.

    Obama: "We Must Change"

    [HAR] Obama: "We Must Change"
    President Obama called on residents of Connecticut and the nation to urge Congress to vote on gun control proposals on Monday during his speech at the University of Hartford. (Published Monday, Apr 8, 2013)

    Then, he delivered an address at the University of Hartford, calling on Congress to bring new gun control proposals to a vote.  

    Police from several departments were securing the motorcade route and a Simsbury detective heard a noise from the back of a home at Central Avenue and Cottage Grove Road at 5:50 p.m., a few miles away from the university, and went to see if someone was hiding in the woods, police said. 

    The detective found Stravinskas with what appeared to be a rifle, aiming at cans propped as targets and ordered him to drop the weapon, police said.

    When Stravinskas turned, he dropped his aim, ultimately complied with police orders and was taken into custody. 

    Police seized the gun and determined it was a pellet rifle, police said.

    Stravinskas told police he was homeless, had been staying at the 7 Central Avenue for a few days and his actions had nothing to do with the presidential motorcade. Secret Service also spoke with Stravinskas and officials determined that his actions had nothing to do with the presidential motorcade.

    The presidential motorcade came by at 6:20 p.m., without any incidents.

    Stravinskas was charged with breach of peace in the second degree, threatening in the second degree and interfering with an officer. 

    He was held on a $15,000 bond and is due in court on Tuesday.

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