For the second time in less than a week, a fake gun on Sunday prompted a very real encounter with Boston police.
After receiving several calls about a man brandishing a firearm near Union Street in Brighton, police arrested William James Maturo, 46, of Winthrop following a tense encounter, according to a report. Police later determined the weapon was a black pellet handgun that had been modified to look like a real one, the report said.
Calls about the suspect first came in around 8:20 p.m. on Sunday, police said. Officers received reports that a man knocked on the door of a residence, displayed a firearm, then fled, according to the report.
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Police soon after found Maturo threatening two people with the pellet gun after allegedly ordering them out of two vehicles at gunpoint, the report said. A detective drew his weapon, pointed it at the suspect and ordered the suspect to drop the gun, police said. Maturo refused, telling police to shoot him, but then dropped the pellet gun, according to police.
What followed was another struggle that left a detective with non-life threatening injuries, a police spokeswoman said.
As the detective approached to handcuff the suspect, Maturo allegedly pulled out a folding knife from a nearby vehicle and rushed toward the detective, prompting what police called a “violent physical struggle,” according to a report. Additional responding officers helped subdue the suspect, according to police.
Maturo is “really lucky” to be alive, Officer Rachel McGuire told Metro.
“He was holding a gun that looked real and he was threatening two people with that gun,” McGuire said. “It’s a lot of pressure on the officer to make those decisions: ‘Is that a fake gun? Is that a real gun?’ … Things can go wrong very easily.”
Officers faced a similar kind of incident last week, when on Wednesday Sept. 23, police responded to reports of a young male suspect pointing what appeared to be an assault rifle out a South Boston window, according to a report. Police later determined the weapon was a Sage International BB Rifle, and the suspect told police he “had been firing the gun out of his window for fun,” according to the release.
In July, police in Brockton reportedly shot and killed a man who pointed a realistic-looking BB gun at officers.
Maturo, the suspect in the handheld pellet gun incident in Brighton, faces a long list of charges: two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon (gun), two counts of kidnapping, one count of attempted murder, carjacking, assault by means of a dangerous weapon (knife), assaulting a police officer, malicious destruction of property over $250 and resisting arrest. He also faces drug charges for possession of lorazapam, suboxone and other unidentified pills.