PA Undercover Officer Almost Runs Over Armed Citizen, Armed Citizen Loses Gun Rights

A regular reader writes:

Reading this story [Man who pulled pistol on cop in Home Depot parking lot gets probation] the facts just rub me the wrong way. A man leaving Lowe’s is almost hit by an undercover police officer who was speeding in the parking lot (speeding, because the officer stated he slammed on his brakes). In response to the threat of a vehicle, Barry Pointon, Jr. draws his weapon. The officer shows his badge. Pointon immediately complies. He had no prior criminal record and a valid LTCF [License to Carry a Firearm]. Somehow Pointon pleads out to reckless endangerment and possession of a prohibited weapon in exchange for prosecutors withdrawing other charges including aggravated assault . . .

The cops destroy his pistol. He will not be able to own a firearm or live in a house with firearms under the terms of his probation. With the prohibited weapons conviction on his record, he will be excluded from owning firearms. Distilled: almost get hit by an undercover officer in a parking and draw a weapon = lose your gun rights forever. And the judge says “Maybe this all has a good result. You don’t need a weapon. Get yourself a can of pepper spray.”

ED: A reader has come across this account of the incident from mcall.com, which “paints a very different story from what the LEO’s official account. In this version, Pointon said around 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2012, he was walking out of the Home Depot on MacArthur Road when a car came screeching toward him in the parking lot and struck him in the legs as his wife and child sat in his car nearby.

“Pointon said as he lifted himself off the hood, the driver of the car began cursing at him and reached for a gun. So Pointon, licensed to carry a firearm, reached for his 9mm handgun and pointed it at the driver. Pointon says the driver then got out of his car, pointing his gun. Pointon says he then realized the man was an officer because he could see part of the word “police” on a vest the man was wearing underneath his unbuttoned shirt.”

comments

  1. avatar Michael B. says:

    The judge doesn’t need armed cops and bailiffs in his courthouse. He needs to get himself some pepper spray.

    1. avatar Andy says:

      Courtroom deputies, in PA, are not armed in the courtroom.

      1. avatar JasonM says:

        The goons at every metal detector probably are.

      2. avatar Michael in GA says:

        That’s not the point. Andy, you may have just made the most idiotic comment on TTAG.

        1. avatar William Burke says:

          WHY? Actually, I think the “most stupid” honor is indisputably YOURS.

    2. avatar NotSoSur says:

      Just what would a can of pepper spray do against a speeding car?

  2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    ‘reckless endangerment and possession of a prohibited weapon’

    That second one is a bit curious. Did he lose his constitutional rights for the reckless endangerment or the possession of a prohibited weapon?

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      And if he was carrying an (unconstitutional) government permission slip, how was his 9mm pistol an prohibited weapon? This guy seriously needed a much better lawyer.

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        Methinks there’s more to this story than meets they eye. I’m not sure what could be carried concealed in PA that would be illegal, unless they have a capacity limit.

        Anyway, it doesn’t sound like a valid draw situation at the very least.

        1. avatar Michael in GA says:

          I though that crap only happens in the movies, two guys drawing on each other and no one fires.

        2. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

  3. avatar USMC Janitor says:

    So a cop can shoot an innocent and we have to look at the totality of the circumstances and view the picture from what the officer saw.

    But a simple pull of a weapon from a civi, when almost hit by a speeding car… He MUST BE PUNISHED!

    1. avatar BDub says:

      His mistake was pleading out, but yes, that’s how it works. Sad!

  4. avatar JaxD says:

    I’ve had close calls in parking lots. Never thought to draw on them. There has to be more to this story.

    1. avatar Citizen says:

      You beat me to it. Drawing on a guy whose car you step in front of, even if he almost hit you, is not the right move. I can think of a couple of edge cases that would explain it (the cop drew first, pointed a gun and told him to move) but there is absolutely no evidence of that happening here, and I think the defense would have brought those up asap.

      All I see is–cop speeding to get to a crime scene, guy steps in front of him, cop narrowly avoids hitting pedestrian and then has a gun drawn on him.

      1. avatar Roll says:

        Reason to draw his weapon was questionable but this is still a d!ck move by the Judge, just from what is quoted, the Judge seems anti-gun

      2. avatar SteveInCO says:

        How do we know the judge was speeding *to get to a crime scene* as opposed to just speeding because he knows he won’t get a ticket? Did I miss something?

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Bottom line, it’s very poor judgement to go wyatt earp on a near miss in a parking lot. It’s happened to me, probably all of us, and I’ve never felt the need to reach for anything other than those words we ain’t supposed to use in polite company.

        2. avatar Citizen says:

          We don’t *know* he was speeding to get to a crime scene, but it’s pretty explicitly stated in the real story that they were in pursuit of a criminal.

        3. avatar William Burke says:

          WHAT? The judge wasn’t speeding…

        4. avatar NotSoSur says:

          Yeh, it wasn’t a judge, it was an undercover cop.

      3. avatar JasonM says:

        If the alternative story is true: that he hit the pedestrian, started yelling at him, then reached for a gun, drawing in self defense is warranted. Otherwise, no.
        But if the alternative is true, then there should have been evidence, such as injury to the guy’s legs from the impact.

        1. avatar Cliff H says:

          Depends on the impact. I hit a guy who stepped in front of me in a crosswalk one time while I was making a right turn. Just bumped him as I was just starting from a dead stop – no injuries and he apologized.

          We also don’t know if the picture above was the civilian or the UC LEO. If THAT guy bumped me with his car and jumped out cursing and reaching for a weapon I believe the “POLICE” on the obscured T-shirt would be filled with 9mm holes. Without seeing a badge in this situation how can you know who this guy really is? Anybody can buy a Police or ATF or FBI t-shirt.

          Even so, plead out? Really? I think it would have been easier to go to trial on the potential manslaughter charge. It would also be a whole lot easier to watch where the hell you’re going in the parking lot, both of you.

    2. avatar nemsis says:

      Home depot has a lot of video cameras this should be easy to figure out.

    3. avatar Aaron says:

      yep, same thing I was thinking. Story sounds fishy, and therefore dude gets no sympathy from me.

    4. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

      ““Pointon said as he lifted himself off the hood, the driver of the car began cursing at him AND REACHED FOR A GUN.” Did everyone miss that? The cop reached for a gun first.
      Sorry, I’m going to draw on a cursing individual who just nearly ran me over and, oh ya, it looks like he’s reaching for a gun. Another thing…why is the cop reaching for his gun in the first place? So, when you nearly run over someone with your car as you speed through a parking lot, on private property, after you screech to a halt, your first response is to curse the person you almost hit….and reach for a gun? If you threaten my life with a motor vehicle, and then a gun, in front of my family, all while cursing at me…..well, you’re probably going to get shot.

  5. avatar Citizen says:

    I’m sorry, the judge’s editorializing there at the end is abhorrent, but:

    you pull a gun on a guy whose car you step in front of AFTER he stops? It’s one thing to use a weapon against a guy actively trying to run you over. It’s a whole other thing to pull a gun AFTER he stops, with the goal being…? To force him out of the car and have a confrontation?

    Definitely not a drawing situation, from what I read.

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      If the citizen had been a cop he would have shot the driver for “endangering him”. This cop needs to be fired, blackballed and lose any and all public pension he has accrued.

      1. avatar MothaLova says:

        Amen.

      2. avatar Kent Unterseher says:

        You know, I get tired of hearing, “If this had been a cop…”. I can tell you that about 90% of the time I hear that line, what comes after it is BS. Yes, the judge in this case sounds like he needs to retire, but come on! You really think that its ok to draw on a car that is speeding in a parking lot? Really?? Come on folks, let’s use some common sense…

        1. avatar Nate says:

          I don’t necessarily agree with the guy’s actions, but there is a huge difference in consequences between police actions and “ordinary people” actions. Do you think if those newspaper delivery ladies had been fired upon by some guy on the street because he “thought one of them was Dorner and an imminent threat” he would not have had his life ruined? Time and time again we see police get a slap on the wrist (or nothing) where you or I would get serious prison time and our lives ruined.

          And that is when the officer tells the truth about the situation. Officer’s break the law + lie regularly and get away with it.

  6. avatar NJDevils72 says:

    Why did he plead the case instead of going to trial?

    1. avatar peirsonb says:

      My best guess would be that he knew it wasn’t a legit “clear leather” situation. Otherwise, if it was me and I KNEW the vehicle had tried to run me down I’ll take my chances with the jury.

      1. avatar BDub says:

        Step one) lawyer, Step two) security cam footage, Step three) freedom. This guy was clearly scared shitless by the cops and pressured (probably using his family) into capitulating.

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          Or, and I’m just throwing this out there, maybe in this ONE case a gun owner did something completely stupid, unwarranted and irresponsible with his gun.

        2. avatar Guy says:

          The charges seem totally wrong, but I’m with Hannibal on this one. What would he hope to accomplish in drawing his gun on a CAR?! Some kind of Michael Bay gas-tank-asplosion would save his life from the Decepticons?

        3. avatar BDub says:

          @ Hannibal; Perhaps, and I have acknowledged that elsewhere in these comments. But! statistically and anecdotally the law-abiding, gun-owning, civilian is generally less gung-ho, or prone to assault a stranger than are the police, so i am more inclined to give him and not the cop the benefit of the doubt – more so, since in our legal system there is a presumption of innocence, and the civie is the one being charged, i am further inclined to believe his story.

      2. avatar Manimal says:

        Exactly this guy probably almost got hit and went into road rage mode. Being in a car accident isn’t grounds for lethal force.

    2. avatar cigr says:

      It was his word against a cop’s word, and the alternative to the plea would have probably put him in jail for a decade or two. Most criminal cases end in plea deals because of prosecutors pushing charges that carry large minimum sentences.

    3. avatar neiowa says:

      1 Did not have, or could not afford, a competent bulldog shyster
      2. Could not afford, and had no help from people of the gun, to pay an attorney thru trial. You are talking a minimum of THOUSANDS of $. As in sell your house, all your possession, close your retirement accounts (and give most of it to Barak) to pay the advance.

    4. avatar Michael C says:

      Cops and prosecutors probably lied to him about the strength of their case and the potential sentence to convince him that their plea deal was his best bet.

  7. avatar Dan says:

    If the civilian was not in violation of any law for carrying the pistol he had with him that day, I’d appeal the $hit out of that if at all possible. I’m not an attorney so I’m not sure if he can appeal having pleaded already. That is absolutely disgusting.

    1. avatar tdiinva says:

      Pulling a gun in a situation where no felony is being committed against you is at least brandishing in most jurisdictions. You cannot resort to your gun unless there is an imminent threat to live and limb by someone who is about to commit a felony against you. That criteria was not met in this case. Guilty as charged even with the gratuitous statements by the judge at sentencing.

      1. avatar Robert Farago says:

        Perhaps. Check the update in the post.

        1. avatar tdiinva says:

          Update noted,

        2. avatar JaxD says:

          The original story is based on his trial. The update is him telling his story to a reporter over a year after the incident, as he’s running for mayor. If this happened as he was walking out of HD, it would have been caught by the multiple security cameras that surround a typical HD.

        3. avatar MothaLova says:

          And surely the recordings from those security cameras have to stay confidential as part of the plea settlement.

      2. avatar BDub says:

        If the Cop’s story is right – I agree. If the defendant’s story is correct, well then…

  8. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

    who is the picture of?

    1. avatar JaxD says:

      I’ll assume it’s a pic of the person who should be today’s IGOTD.

      1. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

        ummmmm he don’t look 28 years old as the article describes him. that’s why I asked

        1. avatar gilmore says:

          That is NOT a photo of Barry Pointon, Jr. I know him and I also know the person in the photo and the website posted a photo of the WRONG person.

    2. avatar A-Rod says:

      That sir is what we call ‘Operator As F@CK’

      1. avatar JaxD says:

        Bet his parents where pissed when they found about the party he had when they got back home. Probably took the keys to his Honda Rebel.

    3. avatar Andrew says:

      “Mmmmmm… Yessirr… Yessir… Big Larry’s gonna like you… MmmHmmm…”

    4. avatar Rich Gun Guy says:

      If that’s a photo of Pointon and he looked like that during the incident, then I’m not surprised he was arrested and prosecuted. If you look like a clown you get treated like one.

      1. avatar gilmore says:

        I know both the person in that photo and Barry Pointon, Jr., whom the article is about. This photo is NOT Barry Pointon, Jr.

  9. avatar JaredFromTampa says:

    I’ve been almost run over numerous times while running in my neighborhood. Never once did it occur to me to draw my pistol on the A-hole that almost ran me over. I personally don’t think that is a legitimate reason to pull a gun on someone. Maybe punch their hood or something, curse at them, give them the bird…but my gun does not come out unless my life is in danger. Does the punishment fit the crime? Hell if I know…He should consider himself lucky he didn’t get run over.

    1. avatar JR says:

      If you don’t consider a several thousand pound car a lethal weapon, you might want to rethink that position.

      In LEO school, we were taught that a car is exactly that (deadly weapon), and firing on someone actively trying to run you down is a justified lethal force situation. Forget hitting the hood or other nonsense.

      Near misses and suchlike are, of course, different. But, also, I’d be careful with flipping them off or yelling at them…could be construed as “instigation.”

      1. avatar JaredFromTampa says:

        Maybe so. Cars are indeed lethal weapons and should be respected as such. But the story said that the driver “slammed on his brakes”, the car was stopped, he pounded on the hood and that he was “almost hit.” No harm, no foul. Had the guy actually been injured and the driver tried to further injure him (e.g. back up and try again) that would be cause for pulling a gun. I just don’t see it being anything other than brandishing in this case. The guy who was almost hit had a right to be mad, but certainly not to pull a gun on another person.

        As to flipping people off and yelling at them, shit, if that were illegal in Florida I’d probably be in prison. Verbal assault is not a crime as far as I know (not including intentionally threatening someone, which is Assault in many places). If someone wants to almost hit me while I’m jogging, I’m not going to be apologetic and invite them home for tea and crumpets. I’m going to call him/her an asshole and inform them of their desperate need of instruction as it relates to driving. I don’t threaten people though, I’m just mouthy.

  10. avatar James R says:

    From what I read here why cant the cop just give him a few stern words about brandishing and be on his way, no harm done? Why does everything have to be a prosecution? (assuming there is nothing more to this story)

    1. avatar Al Cohol says:

      Uhhhh, maybe because he pulled a gun on someone when he had no reason to? Regardless if its a cop, thats not something to be taken lightly. Are you saying if someone pulled a gun on you for something that didn’t warrant it that you’d just give them a stern talking to and be done with it?

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      Are you kidding me?

  11. avatar Javier says:

    Something doesn’t add up here. Parking lots are places where morons almost hit people on a daily or hourly basis. 99% of the time, both parties sheepishly carry on with their day (often not even putting away their cellphones). What made him think it was a good idea to clear leather? And when did he do so, when the car was incoming or after it stopped? In any case, I’m having a lot of trouble justifying what this dude did. Unless we aren’t being told the whole story, he seems to be an idiot.

    If I had to hit the brakes to avoid somebody at a parking lot (speeding or not is irrelevant), and that person subsequently pulled a gun and pointed it at me, you better bet I’m calling the cops right after I’m done de-escalating, and I’m pretty certain said person would be getting a brandishing charge around these parts.

  12. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    “Resistance is futile”

    “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyenRCJ_4Ww”

  13. avatar Alex says:

    There’s a lot we don’t know about this story. If the car almost hit him, but kept going, what reason did the guy have to pull his gun?

    Why did he plead to having a prohibited weapon, when the law on prohibited weapons in PA is pretty clear?

    Getting “almost hit” by a car isn’t a reason to draw on someone, unless the driver turns around for another pass, or gets out with the intention of hurting/killing you.

    I don’t even like cops, and am firm believer in the RKBA, Article 21 of the PA Constitution, and the 2A, but I think that the guy was wrong in drawing. The judge, however, is a fucking moron.

    1. avatar Chris Mallory says:

      Cops murder people all the time for “almost hitting them with a car”. If it is good for the government employee, then it is good for the citizen.

      1. avatar Hasdrubal says:

        The idea of shooting at a car coming at you is changing- last year in department training we were specifically told that it is a bad idea for two reasons. First, even if you succeed in incapacitating the driver, this does not incapacitate or stop the car, which will continue in the direction it was going. If you were really in danger, you likely still are.

        Second, the public generally does not consider a car to be a weapon. Not because it can’t be used as one, but because most people don’t want to consider violence as a real possibility in their own lives, so nothing they own is a weapon to them. Kitchen knives, cars, baseball bats, etc.

        We here know that you can be killed if someone stabs you in the neck with a screwdriver. If you find yourself defending your life, the lesson is you had better be able to explain it in terms a jury will understand. Otherwise they’ll think it’s Monty Python and a man with a banana.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Classic MP sketch by the way.

        2. avatar Hasdrubal says:

          Next, I eat the banana…

        3. avatar Will says:

          If the Joker suing Nike wins, for not having his Nike shoes come with a warning about them being a [potential] deadly weapon, all manufacturers will need to pay heed because someone will start suing them for their own misuse (or the victim of said misuse) of the product they make. Ford, GM, Fiat/Chrysler, et, al, would need to include it too.

      2. avatar Hannibal says:

        Mens rea. If this pedestrian reasonably believed that the driver was trying to run him over this would be a different story. The fact that the driver hit the brakes completely destroys that idea.

  14. avatar Bobby says:

    Somehow Pointon pleads out to reckless endangerment and possession of a prohibited weapon???
    Seems like there is a heck of a lot of information we don’t know about this case.
    Why is it reckless endangerment? Why could he not convince the judge on self defense? (Perhaps because there were no grounds for the self-defense defense, and thus it was reckless endangerment drawing his pistol for no justified reason) Where is the prohibited weapon, if he has a firearm permit?

    You know, it might help to get all the facts before you speak about a subject. Not just, guy tried to defend himself from a speeding wreckless cop and now got his gun taken away along with his gun carry rights FOREVER!

    Sounds great to anti police anti govt people, but facts would be good too.

  15. avatar Hinshelworld says:

    The guy is lucky he didn’t get shot, if some random pulled a gun on me in a parking lot he would be lucky to get off with a couple charges and not some 9mm sized holes instead…

    ” Anderson slammed on his breaks and Pointon slammed his hand on the car’s hood,said,”Yo,” and then pulled out a gun and pointed it at Anderson.”

    That doesn’t sound like any kind of self defense to me… Also, just because the officer slammed on his brakes does NOT mean he was speeding, thats just TTAGs sensationalist side coming out, as it often does when talking about law enforcement.

    1. avatar James R says:

      My favorite part about this website is that the readers aren’t afraid to disagree with a post and aren’t banned for posting any form of criticism.

      1. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

        wont ban, but they will delete

      2. avatar sbk510 says:

        ^^ Word.

        1. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

          and I just joke, some of these guys post some nutty lunatic fringe shit that they keep up. great site though.

  16. avatar Al Cohol says:

    I can’t figure out for the life of me why he pulled his gun out in the first place though. Car almost hits him, get out of the way, and maybe get verbal (if you want to take it there) but to pull your gun out? I can’t see why that would be an option in this case. As civilians we don’t get to shoot first and ask questions later.

    1. avatar Kyle in CT says:

      This. I totally get being pissed, and yelling at the guy. But a carry weapon is for defending yourself against an imminent threat. By the time he pulled his weapon, there was no threat so far as I can tell from the story. Pulling a gun on somebody because you’re pissed off is an improper use of a carry gun. That being said, it would be informative to see some dashboard camera footage, assuming it’s available.

  17. “possession of a prohibited weapon”

    I wonder what it was, THAT seems to be the issue here.

    1. avatar iCONOCLAST says:

      a lot of times the lesser plea has nothing to do with the original offense. like say if youre charged with indecent assault and you are allowed to plea to say disorderly.

  18. avatar Jim R says:

    I will not pass judgment on either party until we find out more about this. There must be more than what’s been told.

  19. avatar Steve in NY says:

    I agree that pulling a gun on someone who almost hit you with a car was downright dumb. I believe the Judge’s decision was correct in this case. This guy doesn’t look to be the brightest bulb.

    What I am concerned about is the charge of possession of a prohibited weapon? The article only says a “fully loaded 9mm pistol” (oooh scary!). What was he carrying, a full auto Tec-9? Need more information please Lehighvalleylive.com.

    1. avatar DanRRZ says:

      +1

      I’m not drawing unless I am somehow clinging to the hood of a moving vehicle headed towards a solid object or am in the process of being repeatedly ran over.

      And this “prohibited weapon” warrants further explanation.

  20. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Sounds like the guy was looking for a reason to pull his pistol and the system was looking for a reason to put someone else in the system.

  21. avatar Chris in NC says:

    If I cleared leather every time someone almost killed me with their car I would be buying holsters all the time. What if the guy was “almost” sure you were threatening his life and sent lead down the pipe. I’m not saying the punishment is right or wrong, I’m saying that there are some distinct precursors to drawing that have to happen to keep yourself out of jail. If I was in the car that almost hit this guy and he pulled a gun, I would probably feel my life was in danger and there’s my justification.

    1. avatar BlinkyPete says:

      +1

    2. avatar SteveInCO says:

      In my case I’d be “klearing kydex” and probably be in trouble because my specific model has been discontinued (I just bought three spares) but your point is well taken.

      1. avatar Chris in NC says:

        I hear ya, I guess my Garrett is both.

    3. avatar KCK says:

      Agreed, I try to have situational awareness in parking lot for:
      #1 Four Wheel threats (moving cars)
      #2 Two legged threats
      #3 Shopping Carts

      My fault if I don’t see a car coming.
      Cop focused on violent bad guy doesn’t see me walking,
      Mutual and equal contribution to the near collision
      I pull a gun on a car that has screeched to halt, no longer a threat.
      Am I to assume it was an attempt on my life or a very common event?
      Turns out to be a mom looking back at her distressed child in a car seat?

      If I pull a gun in that situation, I am a dangerous ass hole.
      Cooper #2
      He DOES seem more likely to harm an innocent that defend himself from a real threat.
      No sympathy from me.

  22. avatar BlinkyPete says:

    Meh. I don’t think he should lose his right to own firearms, but what he did was reckless. He had time to slap the hood of a car that was no longer moving and therefore had no reason to point a gun at someone.

  23. avatar great unknown says:

    It was a “Home Depot”, not a “Lowe’s”. Careless writing belongs on ABC. [And dishonest writing on CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WP, etc.]

    1. avatar AmericanSpirit says:

      You forgot Faux News.

  24. avatar Tile floor says:

    I agree with the general consensus on here that if the story is at it seems, the guy was an idiot who lost his temper. If this case has already gone to trial and he took a plea deal, he didn’t have much to stand on and there won’t be many, if any, new details about this case. The title of this article is also presumptive and sensationalist.

    1. avatar Hinshelworld says:

      This.

      TTAG can claim all it wants to be fair and balanced and that they are in search of the truth… but the truth is that there is at times a quite sensationalist flair on this site.

      1. avatar AmericanSpirit says:

        Agreed.

        I’m here because of the thoughtful and informative posts (and at least 50% of the comments are worth reading much of the time), but yonder editors need to keep in mind that this site is called “The TRUTH About Guns”.

        This is a place where I come for that truth about firearms that I don’t get from the mainstream media. I’d like to be able to send people less informed about guns to this site (and have done so previously), but my readership and recommendations are dependent on whether or not I see real journalism (bloggers are protected as journalists and all that now).

        4/10, TTAG. I expect better next time.

  25. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

    The only way I can see drawing on the car might be ok is of the cop after stopping got on the gas again making look like he’s going to intentionally hit him. Just my opinion but at that point the undercover cop would be operating a 4k lbs weapon and any reasonable person should assume they’re at risk of great bodily harm or death.

  26. avatar Jim Barr says:

    I know this happened in Pennsylvania, but South Carolina law states:

    “It is unlawful for a person to discharge or cause to be discharged unlawfully firearms at or into any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other conveyance, device, or equipment while it is occupied. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.”

    You do the math.

    1. avatar SteveInCO says:

      I love it when a law says, “It’s unlawful to do X unlawfully.” Uh, just what the hell is actually prohibited then? ANY discharge of a weapon into a car, etc? Or just some of them?

      We have lots of similar stuff in the Colorado Revised Statutes; something is forbidden except when lawful, and you still have no idea after reading that paragraph as to what it is that is lawful. Presumably, that which the paragraph didn’t forbid.

      1. avatar KCK says:

        unlawful to do x except when lawfully in an act of self-defense

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          But again that says nothing. Unless there is some definition of “lawful self defense” somewhere else. Otherwise you are *still* just saying it’s unlawful to do X unless it’s lawful to do X, which (without some sort of context) is utterly meaningless.

          And I’d still want it to read “lawful self defense” instead of just “lawful”

      2. avatar Michael C says:

        Just ‘unlawful discharges’ and only while it’s occupied. The text Jim quoted clearly indicates that it is lawful to ‘discharge or cause to be discharged unlawfully firearms at or into any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or other conveyance, device, or equipment’ if it is unoccupied.

        1. avatar SteveInCO says:

          So you are saying it’s lawful to unlawfully discharge a firearm, under those circumstances? That would mean you are lawfully discharging the firearm then, not unlawfully doing so, since it’s lawful to do so.

    2. avatar JR says:

      Self defense would trump that law. It’s an affirmative defense, though, which shifts the burden of proof. (Not a lawyer, so welcome to be corrected by the legal scholars).

      If someone is actively coming at you with their car, I’m pretty sure (as a former SC LEO) you would have the right to defend yourself with a firearm.

      1. avatar Jim Barr says:

        I agree. But in this case (with me not knowing all the facts, of course) the guy pulled his gun and aimed it at a car that ALMOST hit him–he had not been hit, he just got pissed because he almost got hit. In furthering the 2A agenda, this is certainly NOT a good example of when to draw a gun.

  27. avatar SteveInCO says:

    This (in italics below) has been added to the original post. I agree with most of the criticisms above, based on the account originally posted. But if the following is true, then this really is a travesty. The cop had no business drawing first. (Note though, it’s simply Pointon’s account and he could be a complete liar for all we know. I’d certainly have fought in court if this is what had happened to me.)

    “ED: A reader has come across this account of the incident from mcall.com, which “paints a very different story from what the LEO’s official account. In this version, Pointon said around 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 15, 2012, he was walking out of the Home Depot on MacArthur Road when a car came screeching toward him in the parking lot and struck him in the legs as his wife and child sat in his car nearby.

    “Pointon said as he lifted himself off the hood, the driver of the car began cursing at him and reached for a gun. So Pointon, licensed to carry a firearm, reached for his 9mm handgun and pointed it at the driver. Pointon says the driver then got out of his car, pointing his gun. Pointon says he then realized the man was an officer because he could see part of the word “police” on a vest the man was wearing underneath his unbuttoned shirt.”

    1. avatar FoRealz? says:

      Well if that’s how it went down, then that’s a whole nother ball of wax.

    2. avatar Hinshelworld says:

      I’m not sure how he would have been able to know that the officer was reaching for a gun from in front of the car, and if he could see in the car well enough to identify that I have to imagine he would have seen the badge and police marked vest that the cop was wearing.

    3. I saw that as well, also he was a former Mayoral candidate (did not win tho). But nowhere can I find how his 9mm handgun was a ‘prohibited weapon’.

      PA Prohibited Offensive Weapons:

      http://reference.pafoa.org/statutes/PA/18/I/9/908/prohibited-offensive-weapons/

      Maybe a silencer?

    4. avatar KCK says:

      If that is the case ,I would also withdraw my earlier coment.
      Being drawn on by an un-identified person is different that pointing a weapon through a windshield after near collision.

  28. avatar Bdk NH says:

    That is a seriously creepy dude in that photo. I’d pay money to un-see that.

    1. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

      If you’re traumatized by the picture just imagine how RF feels after spending the day at the porn convention with that guy.

      1. avatar Andrew says:

        LOL – Done in 1…ish.

        “Psstt… Hey Buddy, Wanna the really hardcore stuff?”

        1. avatar chuck (hates nj) says:

          Im picturing that guy and RF having a fear and loathing in Vegas weekend.

  29. avatar FoRealz? says:

    Sounds like the guy got what he had coming to him. Other than the prohibited weapons charge. Maybe he also had a knife on him with a blade too long. ???

    My theory (cuz it’s the Internet) is the cop was driving through the lot too fast, dude was not paying attention and stepped out in front of car, cop slammed brakes, dude got mad and felt the need to show how big a macho man he was by drawing down on the driver. Also evidenced in the article where it says he “slammed his hand on the hood and then drew his gun.”

    Hot heads like that don’t need to be carrying. Screw him.

    I’ve almost been hit by a car in a lot, and I’ve also made a turn in a parking lot and whoops there was a pedestrian right there. A sheepish wave and a “My bad.” is all that is necessary.

    This guy sounds like the type of gun toting retard Mr. Colion Noir refers to as the “wish a m-F-er would” type.

    Keeping it real, going wrong.

  30. avatar justin says:

    It seems like Lowes should have had security cameras that would prove one story or the other

    1. avatar Fred says:

      Yes, and I’m sure the police department that officer works for is “reviewing” the tapes as we speak and will release them by the end of the decade.

  31. avatar Ralph says:

    When the only witness is a cop, I’m somewhat skeptical. Cops have made an art form of testi-lying. But in this case, the accused took a plea, which tells me that he did what he pleaded to doing.

    1. avatar Hinshelworld says:

      The article mentions multiple witnesses…

  32. avatar Don says:

    Drawing a gun because of the fairly typical close encounter with an idiot driver in a parking lot? Sounds more like a road rage response than SD stopping power.

    -D

  33. avatar James R says:

    That update seems even fishier than the initial story… Specifically, after hitting a guy in the parking lot “the driver of the car began cursing at him and reached for a gun”

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Does, doesn’t it?

    2. avatar DaveL says:

      Yes, on the one hand, we have a claim that near-miss in the parking lot caused the suspect to get mad and draw his weapon – an overreaction to be sure, but not so terribly implausible.

      On the other hand, we have the claim that the guy full-fledged ran over another person, then immediately started cursing at the person he hit, and started drawing his weapon. That’s straight out of la-la land.

      1. avatar FoRealz? says:

        Yeah. Given the update it’s a whole he said, he said.

        In any case, I gotta apply the rule of the simplest explanation is probably the right one.

        Hence dude almost got tapped by the car, got mad and decided to keep it real. Then things went wrong.

  34. avatar Jeff says:

    You don’t draw your weapon unless you are facing a lethal force threat. Pretty poor judgement of the CCW holder to draw. I support CCW, but get some training and know the laws in your jurisdiction. The rights you save could be your own.

  35. avatar JimD says:

    Yet another reason why I have absolutely no love for law enforcement.

    1. avatar Kent Unterseher says:

      You obviously don’t need much of a reason…

      1. avatar AmericanSpirit says:

        When the word of an Law Enforcement Officer is worth more than the word of a citizen in a country ruled by Civil Law, then only that fact is sufficient reason for a rational individual to mistrust the police.

        If you’ve got a gun, a badge that says you can arrest me, AND your word trumps mine in court of law why on earth would I assume that your actions will only be benevolent and in my best interest?

        Basic human psychology argues absolutely not.

        Go look up the Stanford Prison Experiment for supporting evidence and when you’re done learning there, watch the video by Law professor James Joseph Duane entitled “Don’t Talk To The Police” here:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

        for why interacting with police, even with good intentions on behalf of both parties also isn’t a particularly rational thing to do.

  36. avatar Justin_GA says:

    Cop should have apologized for almost hitting him. Guns re-holstered. And a handshake. Thats the kinda country I want to live in!. But I live in a country where the police have the power to kill, assault, falsely arrest, and pretty much wipe there a$$ with the constitution. If a cop shoots you for no reason he gets a medal. If a armed citizen shoots a felonious cop he’s charged with murder.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      You want to live in the kind of world where you get a gun pointed at you for going about your day driving through a parking lot? You’re the kind of person MDA thinks of when they talk about the Wild West ™.

    2. avatar FoRealz? says:

      No.

      I don’t know what kind of wacky world exists where a gun can be drawn on someone and it’s laughed off with “Take it easy bro.” Maybe they roll that way in Somalia. Dunno.

      You can’t go around drawing your gun just cuz. Even if someone feels threatened, it better be a reasonable fear. Being scared of someone or something doesn’t automatically make it reasonable under the law.

      Walking out in front of a car in a strip mall parking lot don’t cut it as a reason to, nor is getting cussed at or any number of trivial interpersonal slights.

      Unless someone is the type of person that jumps at every shadow, sees black helicopters and has invested heavily in tin foil.

      Then that guy shouldn’t be carrying because he’s a paranoid fruit loop or he has a chip on his shoulder and he’s out to prove to the world he won’t be pushed around. And by God if anyone tried he’ll show ’em 15 9mm reasons why he ain’t taking their shit.

      Retards like that shouldn’t carry, if for no other reason than to keep their own butts out of jail or the morgue.

      I’d be willing to bet this isn’t the first time the defendant has let his anger get the best of him to no good end.

      And Justin, stop being so anti-cop. Yeah, there are bad cops, but that isn’t even remotely the majority. Just like there are bad “gun guys” but again not even remotely the majority.

      If someone keeps running into “bad” cops it might be wise to ask themselves how it is that they keep winding up in situations where the police want to have a word with them. I’ve lived a few decades and I can count the number of times I’ve had to interact with the police on one hand with fingers to spare.

  37. avatar Hannibal says:

    Let’s imagine, for a moment, that the driver was not a cop; just a regular person who (maybe speeding, maybe not) almost hits a pedestrian… but hits the brakes to stop in time. Would this story read the same? Would the comments be the same? Or would this be an irresponsible gun owner of the day?

    Neither a close call nor even a traffic accident is a reasonable time to draw a firearm. If there’s good evidence the driver does something on purpose, maybe, but this driver stopped. I wonder how many times this guy has gotten cut off by someone in traffic and waved a gun around.

    1. avatar BDub says:

      Let’s!
      In your scenario, depending on which side of the story is true, both parties stand to face serious consequences if found to be lying.

      In the real world, it not going to be the cop’s fault, regardless of which party is lying.

      See the difference?

  38. avatar Skittles says:

    My two cents: Dude contacts the local newspaper several months after said incident occurs. Paints different picture than what police report says (obviously). Coincidentally, dude is also running for mayor of a small town where stories like this run wild. Conclusion: Dude may be embellishing/misrepresenting what happened.

    A side note: If it went down how dude says it went down, why not subpoena the surveillance footage from the store? Granted not all stores have front store surveillance, most have parking lot surveillance to clear up lawsuits from people hitting carts, etc. Especially big chain corporations like Lowe’s, Walmarts, etc. While it may not be the best view, it may clear up what led to everything.

    Maybe his lawyer wasn’t the best. Who knows. But If you’re man enough to pull a gun on someone be man enough to take it to trial (if the facts are truly in your favor as you indicate in the article). If this was a real case of someone’s gun rights being curb stomped like the guy paints it to be, then a savvy attorney would have begged him to take it to trial for the publicity alone.

    There is dude’s side, the pigs side and the middle. The middle is the truth and we aren’t getting that.

  39. avatar jwm says:

    I’m not pleading to a charge I know I haven’t earned. No way. They may convict me in court, but I’m not admitting guilt when I’m not.

  40. avatar Marcus says:

    Sounds like the dude would’ve drawn the gun no matter who was in that car. Little old lady, harried mother with kids fighting in the backseat, local Joe out to get a ball cock to fix that damn toilet. From the limited information we have here, it sounds like he drew in anger, not out of fear for his life. “You almost hit me, bitch, and I could shoot you.” People like that don’t do us any favors. If I’m wrong and he really feared for his life, I apologize. That’s just not how it feels.

  41. avatar DD says:

    The officer had every right to run him over in the parking lot after the officer clearly stopped and then the perp drew his weapon. The most expedicious, and completely justified, thing for the officer to do at the time would be to pin the excellerator to the floor and use his vehicle as a defensive weapon. The officer should be given a medal of honor for his incredible restraint under the circumstances. On the other hand, the perp should be doing jail time for this. Shame on the justice system for being over leinient …AGAIN.

  42. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    Who the hell knows what really happened? Go to court, let a jury review the evidence and render a verdict.

    I’m tolerant of the general idea of police, but by no stretch could be considered “pro-cop.”  Still, I’m not buying the reckless UC story.

    Alternately, I’m hugely in favor of an armed citizenry and couldn’t be labeled as less than an absolutist. Yet, even I’m not buying the whole “he reached for a piece, so I did, too” story.

    Something happened in that parking lot. Roll the surveillance video, bring in the witnesses and let’s have a trial. No? Then there may be a reason why each side agreed to a plea. Probably wrong-doing on both sides (cop speeding in a parking lot, hothead citizen itching to draw); but I’m not going to play duelling media quotes and guess who’s right.

  43. avatar Jethro says:

    The ‘ED:’ version sounds more plausible to me. Oblivious shopper steps in front of car. Driver ‘slams’ brakes, stops close enough for shopper to lean on hood. Both get a jolt of adrenaline, both get pissed, driver pulls to intimidate shopper, shopper freaks and pulls in return.

    What doesn’t seem plausible is that no shots were fired, which says to me both parties knew they had no business pulling their weapons. I mean the cop gets out of the car facing a pointed weapon and doesn’t shoot? The shopper pulls on a driver waving a gun, who is getting out of the car, and doesn’t shoot? Mexican standoffs, two guys pointing guns at each other, not shooting, only happens on TV.

    I’m going with whoever pulled first was in the wrong.

  44. avatar Mark L says:

    There is something else going on in this case. The prohibited weapon charge sounds to me like he had a firearm with an obliterated serial number. I also suspect, that the guy got hit by the cop and pulled his gun FIRST, unnecessarily!

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Dude if that’s really him (and the main photo in the post is on the same FB page), then his FB page says he’s “in an open relationship” with his wife, Heidi, seen here: https://scontent-b-sea.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc3/262484_200759706650702_6144543_n.jpg

      BUT… ^^^ all that FB stuff is “Barry Pointon” in the same area of PA. The articles mention a Barry Pointon, JR, so maybe it’s actually this dude’s son. Or just somebody completely and totally unrelated. How many times have we seen the news put up photos from a FB page because they found a page with the correct name but it was a totally different person with the same name? We’ve even seen that happen with school shootings and stuff.

      1. avatar don-sfd says:

        these are nsfw btw

    2. avatar MotoJB says:

      OMG….my eyes!!! My eyes!!! Can’t ever get those disgusting visuals out of my head. Thanks a lot for that share. His wife is sure a hottie though. LMAO

  45. avatar MotoJB says:

    wait…wtf did he draw his weapon for?

  46. avatar Chris says:

    I have come to the conclusion that you are about as likely to get shot by a cop as by a perp. I know that the attitude of the police in my area has changed to the point that if they “think” you are armed they shoot first. They might get a slap on the wrist or a few days off and in the worst case fired but you are still dead and they are walking.

  47. avatar Aaron says:

    Not sure there is anything to get outraged about here. The small amount of info in the story leads one to believe that there was not sufficient justification for dude to draw down.

    Why would one draw a gun on a car that almost hit him? Generally speaking, you can lawfully use or threaten lethal force only to stop a potentially lethal threat – if there is no longer a potentially lethal threat, you can no longer use lethal force.

    Is there more to this story?

    1. avatar Jeremy S says:

      Well there’s the other claim that the person in the car (unknown to the pedestrian dude as a police officer) drew his weapon first. Then pedestrian guy drew his in response. I suppose without video we’ll never know. It’s the officer’s word against pedestrian guy’s, then, and pedestrian guy took a plea deal.

  48. avatar DD says:

    If you’ve never had a weapon pointed at you while inside a vehicle I must tell you it’s a most uncomfortable feeling. Getting to your own weapon is difficult and slow at best, you’re locked into a box without the ability to move much, trapped like a rat, and some idiot is pointing the biggest gun you’ve ever seen right at you. Completely understandable how that might be upsetting and how you may have to exit your vehicle before being able to access your own weapon. Most if not all police are trained to announce their authority as they present their weapon if it’s at all practical at the time, so the thought that this perp might not have known the intended victim was in fact an officer, if the perp had drawn second, is unlikely at best. The unfounded notions about trigger happy police are unfortunate. The fact of the matter is that police involved shootings receive the highest scrutiny and rarely does an unjustified shooting go unpunished. The really sad fact is that you have better than normal odds against a law enforcement officer because they often give much more time for you to back down than you deserve or is warranted.

  49. avatar The Stig says:

    If you feel justified in drawing your weapon, you should feel justified in using it, and if you feel justified in using it, you should feel justified in killing the threat.

    Therefore, if you are not going to shoot to kill, then don’t draw your weapon.

    It’s basically an either/or proposition for civilians. Either you are going to draw your gun and kill the individual, or don’t draw at all.

    Don’t waive it around and intimidate.

    Don’t shoot to scare.

    Don’t shoot to injure.

    If you do those things, it’ll be used against you. You can only use your weapon if you fear imminent threat of grave bodily harm or death to you or someone else (your state’s language will vary a little). If that’s true, you are only shooting to kill.

    1. avatar DD says:

      On the other hand many times violence is thwarted simply because a firearm is presented but never fired. Think about it.

  50. avatar cubby123 says:

    F-ing east coast Stupidity,just another way to deny rights. Stupid Judge’WHY DON’T YOU GET SOME PEPPER SPRAY WHEN SOMEONE THREATENS YOUR LIFE JUDGE,cause if they come after you they will most likely have a gun.

  51. avatar Will says:

    We got two different stories here. One from an undercover cop allegedly involved in pursuing a suspect. Later, one from the guy who took the plea-bargain. Allegedly we are told there were witnesses to the event (and being a Home Depot, a parking lot under surveillance of the store.) There is no word of what said witnesses saw or what the CCTV picked up that we’ve been told.

    Now, unfortunately when we get into a “he-said, she-said” situation, the cop is always believed, unless there is direct evidence to prove he was lying. Do we have such evidence? Again, what DID the witnesses see? When did they start paying attention? What did video surveillance show? We will probably never know. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle

    And yes, our citizen (despite his looks and lifestyle choices) probably got pressured into taking the plea, whether it was against his council’s recommendations, or by, is irrelevant and moot now.

  52. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    One less non gangbanger with a gun, oh yeah, the disarmed libs can rest safe now, Randy

  53. avatar Catch me first says:

    I’m a convicted Felon but I’ll be damn if any person, judge, or government will ever stop me from carrying a firearm period.. So if I coast fast through a no wake zone on a lake are they going to take my fishing poles to?? I don’t buy hunting, fishing or even a drivers licens so hell with the government !! I invite them to my house in the woods to just even try to think they will seize my weapons lol.. It will turn out better then the Weaver family cause they will be loosing lives back here!! Thank God for new Indiana law where we can shoot pigs on private property now !!

  54. avatar Pat says:

    No plea deal.

  55. avatar LordGopu says:

    There really doesn’t seem to be enough info to go on here. Two conflicting stories and no other witnesses or footage. Though the fact that he plea bargained makes me think he was in the wrong.

  56. avatar Mike says:

    I home base out of Phoenix, Arizona. When I am home, I open carry. I have been in a few sticky situation, both in the city and on my border watch days. There were a few situations where I could have drawn, but did not. NEVER have I drawn my weapon for fear of life or in anger. I have had cops draw down on me being in a vehicle and in the wrong place at the wrong time too.. SO, I can see that from both points of view. I can see the civilian NOT having LEO training, drawing in this situation IF he felt his life threatened.. I could ALSO see said civilian getting shot dead by the UC as he came rolling out of his car firing too….

    Just glad it did not escalate to the point of shots being fired..

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