Police react to Halloween gun report

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Friday, November 1, 2013

JANESVILLE—Police dealt with a gun scare on Halloween, but it turns out no foul play was afoot.

A police officer was parked near the corner of Milwaukee Street and Pontiac Drive when someone drove up, rolled down a window and shouted that there was a kid with gun at Marshall Middle School.

The officer drove to the school, just a few blocks away, and saw a 13-year-old boy putting something black into a van.

The officer told the boy to step away from the van and show his hands.

The black object was an umbrella.

The officer spotted another boy nearby with a fake handgun, painted bright orange, which apparently was a part of his costume.

“A child was spoken to about his Halloween costume being construed that he might have a gun,” the officer wrote in his report.

Reports did not indicate what kinds of costumes the boys were wearing.

Police Sgt. Mark Ratzlaff, commenting on the incident Friday, indicated that recent shootings at schools around the country have police on alert whenever a firearm and a school are mentioned in the same breath.

“You probably don't want to be taking any type of firearm onto school property—even a toy firearm—because of the reaction you're going to get,” Ratzlaff said.

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