BRISTOL - A New Britain man arrested early Wednesday on Davis Drive, after he was seen with a BB gun that resembled a rifle, could have been shot by police, a prosecutor said Wednesday during his arraignment.
Jose Rivera, 40, is facing charges of carrying a dangerous weapon, criminal possession of a firearm and interfering with police. According to the police report, an officer on patrol spotted him at the center of a group of about 10 people standing in the middle of Davis Drive at about 1:21 a.m. Police allege Rivera was holding the long gun and waving it around.
The officer, who immediately radioed for backup, got out of his cruiser, drew his handgun and yelled several times for Rivera to drop the gun. The officer wrote in his report that Rivera yelled back, telling him the gun was fake, and did not drop the weapon. As this was happening, multiple people ran away and a vehicle left the scene.
The police officer said he continued to tell Rivera to drop the gun, but he refused, insisting it was not a real firearm. The policeman noted in the report that the 40-year-old was standing behind another person, preventing a clear line of sight between the officer’s gun and Rivera.
After the officer once again called for him to put down the weapon, Rivera finally dropped the gun behind a vehicle, put his hands up and walked toward the policeman, according to the report. The officer told him to get on the ground, but Rivera then began walking away, in the direction of a set of houses, the report continued.
As this was happening, Matthew Day, 36, of 820 Stafford Ave., Javan Delvalle, 36, of no certain address, and Everett Garcia, 28, of 190 Moody St., who were all nearby, allegedly refused to comply with the officer’s demands, according to police. The officer said he had asked them to get on the ground so they could not make a move toward the rifle - which was later seized and determined to be a BB gun.
After yelling five or six times, the officer said in the report, all of the suspects, with the exception of Garcia, got on the ground. Garcia crouched down with his hands in his pockets, eventually showing his hands when asked to do so.
Day, Delvalle and Garcia were all charged with interfering with an officer. They were held in custody overnight and arraigned Wednesday in Bristol Superior Court, where their cases were continued.
During Rivera’s arraignment hearing, Jeffrey Lee, the prosecutor, said the police officer involved “would have every right to shoot him.” The prosecutor added that, had he been in the same position, he would have fired at the 40-year-old man wielding what looked like a rifle.
Rivera, a convicted felon, is being held on $100,000 bond. He is due back in court on Nov. 1 to enter a plea.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.