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Who the heck chases their 3-year-old daughter yielding a paintball gun?

It wasn't a water pistol so it's not like they were having a playful water fight - what on earth could the game possibly have entailed??

Well done to the witnesses who alerted the authorities and to the police for taking the reports seriously.  Imagine the outrage if an armed offender had hurt or killed an officer, a pregnant woman and/or a young child because he wasn't apprehended...

 

 

 

 

nzherald.co.nz | Friday, 7 Jan 2011

Toy gun triggers armed callout

by Edward Gay

Sheridyn Rawlins and Chris Graham with their daughter Brooklyn. Photo / Paul Estcourt

 

Armed police stopped a man, his pregnant wife and 3-year-old daughter after reports that he was waving a gun at passing cars.

Chris Graham, 28, has been charged with unlawfully carrying an imitation firearm and appeared in the Waitakere District Court yesterday. He pleaded not guilty.

He told the Herald that he had been playing a game with his 3-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, and police had made a mistake.

But police say they had a call from a neighbour saying a man was pointing a firearm at other people.

Graham said he was chasing his daughter with a broken paintball gun and she was chasing him with a water pistol on Tuesday evening.

About an hour later the family all got into the car to go out for dinner. His wife, Sheridyn Rawlins, was driving and he was in the back seat with his daughter, he said.

They pulled out of their Te Atatu South property and saw a police car in the middle of the road. Armed police officers were in the surrounding houses.

"The cops were screaming 'stop the vehicle' ... there was another guy screaming 'I've got a clear shot'," Graham said.

Ms Rawlins said she was not sure if the police were talking to them but she stopped the car and got out.

She said one police officer told her: "I need to take you around the corner because they might shoot him."

Graham said he unbuckled Brooklyn before he was told to put his hands out the window and then to get out. He said he was yelled at when he brought his hand back inside to open the car door.

He said the police found the paintball gun on the veranda where he had left it and he was handcuffed and taken to the police station.

Waitakere area commander Inspector Gary Davey said police got a call from a neighbour of Graham who saw a man waving a gun around, shooting at a passing car and pointing it at other people. Mr Davey said police stopped the car because they feared Graham could have had a gun.

He said if people carry toys that look like real guns then they run the risk of being at the centre of an armed police callout.

"This happens [a lot] - generally it is black or silver water pistols but no one knows if they are real or not. Police have to take all reported firearms incidents seriously."

Mr Davey said Graham would be able to tell his side of the story in court.

Graham described the charges as an "inconvenience" but said his boss has been understanding.

Ms Rawlins said the police could have knocked on the door.

"It was very distressing for a pregnant lady and a 3-year-old child."