WESTERLY — A local man is facing charges after police said he drove at high speed into the police department parking lot just before noon Thursday, got out of his Jeep and and approached the station carrying an airsoft gun resembling an AR-15 rifle.
The man, Edward C. Allore, 36, did not threaten officers and the gun was secured quickly, Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said on Tuesday. Allore was wanted for questioning in connection with an out-of-town domestic complaint earlier in the day, Lacey said. An officer asked a person in the lobby to hide in one of the bathrooms before ordering Allore to the ground at gunpoint, the chief said.
"There was no indication that he ever intended to use the gun, which was later determined to be an airsoft rifle, and he never made any direct threat," Lacey said. "Due to the circumstances, the officer took action to assure the safety of those in the police station."
Allore, of 16 Hardwood Lane, was charged with driving under the influence, carrying a facsimile firearm while intoxicated, disorderly conduct and refusal to submit to a chemical test. He was held overnight and arraigned in Fourth Division District Court on Friday.
According to Rhode Island judicial records, Allore did not enter a plea and was released on a $5,000 bond. He is due in Washington Superior Court for a felony screening on July 19.
Lacey said Westerly police began searching for Allore on Thursday after receiving an alert from police in Ledyard, who were investigating a domestic incident that took place on Shewville Road near the Ledyard-Mystic border. Officials said Allore was accused of swerving his Jeep toward his girlfriend; he has not been charged in that case.
Westerly dispatchers then received a call from a someone who had seen Allore sitting in his vehicle at Weekapaug Point, holding what appeared to be a rifle. The witness told officers she knew who he was and was concerned about his well being.
Officers were already en route when, moments later, Allore called dispatchers by cellphone. But the call was disconnected.
A few minutes after that, Lacey said, the Jeep sped into the police parking lot, jumped a curb and crossed a grass median before coming to an abrupt stop. The police said he then got out, holding the rifle, which Lacey said was painted camouflage and appeared at first to be an AR-15. Officers determined it was an airsoft gun, which fires plastic pellets.
"An officer was in the lobby with another citizen and ordered the citizen to hide in the bathroom," Lacey said. "He then went through the front door with his firearm drawn and ordered (Allore) to put down the gun."
Allore, who appeared intoxicated, did not comply immediately but did not point the gun as if to use it. When ordered to the ground, he put down the rifle. He was taken into custody without further incident.
The incident was captured on video, which was turned over to the courts as evidence, the police said.