Police find 'suspects' wielded Popsicles, not guns

Three college students back for spring break get confronted by officers with guns drawn, handcuffed and forced to sit on the ground.
TNS Regional News
Apr 15, 2014

 

The woman who called Columbus police that afternoon sounded as certain as she did scared, describing three “creepy” young men in hooded sweatshirts standing outside a vacant condominium in her Far East Side complex. One of them, she said, had a gun.

The reality was something else entirely. Columbus police say it is an example of the fine line that officers must tread on a daily basis when reacting to threats that are sometimes real but sometimes just perceived.

In the March 8 police run at the Brice Green condominiums, the three “suspects” were college students back in Columbus for spring break.

And they had Popsicles, not guns.

Families of the young men are angry that this key fact was determined only after the three were confronted by officers with guns drawn, handcuffed and forced to sit on the ground. One family has filed a complaint with Internal Affairs.

“It just infuriates me,” said Stephanie Farve, Terrell Hudson’s mother. “They were literally standing outside eating Popsicles.”

Such cases also raise the specter, rightly or wrongly, of racial profiling: Hudson, Daivon Barrow and Devon Edwards are black, and all of the police officers who responded, as well as the 911 caller, are white.

Police records show that officers closed out the call within 20 minutes, having made no charges.

Sgt. Rich Weiner, a Police Division spokesman, said details will be sorted out in the internal investigation. But he stressed that officers must act swiftly and sometimes forcefully to keep the public and themselves safe.

“Once you have everybody under control, then you start assessing the situation,” he said.

Hudson, 19, is an Urbana University student who lives at Brice Green. Barrow and Edwards, both 18, were hanging out at his house that day.

Barrow is a freshman at Ashland University; Edwards at the University of Pittsburgh. The three had played football together at Eastmoor Academy and now all play college ball. None has ever been in trouble with the law. “These are good kids,” Farve said.

The incident began shortly after 4:30 p.m., when resident Daphne Lattimer called police.

“There are three black males that are across from the street from where I live, and a black male brought out a gun when my kids were walking out to the mailbox, not threatening them, but they’re showing each other a gun,” she said in her call to 911.

Lattimer, 40, declined to talk about the case. But she described the men in detail in her call and said one had tucked the gun into his waistband.

“Now they’re eating Popsicles, walking around,” she said.

Terrell Hudson said all they had done was watch a video clip on Barrow’s cellphone.

The three saw the police arrive, he said, and in a blink they were being held at gunpoint, with officers demanding “Where’s it at?”

“My son was like, ‘Where’s what at?’??” Joi Barrow said.

Police searched the men and the area without finding a gun.

Robert Hudson, Terrell’s father, said he was stunned when he looked out a window and saw police handcuffing them.

“These cats just walked out of the house,” Mr. Hudson said. “It was no more than five minutes, and now they’re laying on the ground.”

He said he rushed outside and that the officers were full of “attitude.” He said he was threatened with arrest if he kept demanding an explanation.

“It just was ugly all around,” said Farve, who witnessed part of the scene and took pictures.

Officers must make split-second judgments on any call, including the credibility of the caller, the nature of the run and the number and physical size of the suspects, Weiner said.

“Everything hinges upon the information that we’re given,” he said.

“It’s a delicate balance,” said Nick Worner, spokesman for the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio. He said good training and clear policies help neutralize such encounters, but they can still upset citizens.

"Why do I feel like I did something wrong even though I didn’t?’ That’s a common complaint,” he said. “It’s a blessing that this didn’t turn into an absolute tragedy, and I hope that the (Police Division’s) rules had something to do with that.”

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By Theodore Decker - The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio (MCT)

©2014 The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)

Visit The Columbus Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio) at www.dispatch.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Comments

swiss family

this is a perfect example of just haw dangerous the "stand your ground" laws are..these guys were standing there eating Popsicle and talking, simply hanging out, and this person was scared and thought they had a gun, she felt frightened and threatened, so according to the "stand your ground law" she had a right to defend herself by any means possible, and that means shooting and killing these harmless Popsicle eating guys...we better fix this law before too many innocent people get slaughtered...

truckin

Where do you come up with some of these whiny, frightened everyone is going to be slaughtered idea's?
Just one thing
remember
When in trouble and seconds matter, the cops are only a few minutes away..
They will do a great job writing a report, investigating, even possibly convicting..
but your presence as a witness, just might???? just might not??.

I think you just might want to focus more on illegal aliens undocumented coming in this country, many which are heavily armed, with no desire to be your friend.... ...then worried if your neighbor has a gun

rbenn

What the hell r u talking about? Whats dangerous is people like you that want to take guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens.

vicariouslyAlive

... pretty sure an actual and factual cause of threat is still necessary for the stand your ground law to protect the one invoking it... if cause does not exist its then relegated to murder based on ignorance. Your understanding of that proposed law is flawed and now you have an irrational fear of what you fully do not understand. Just like the woman in the artical you're turning to irrational fear before knowing all of the facts. Stop it, because ignorance and blind fear are some of the largest problems in our social society. Not every youngster standing outside in a group is dangerous just as not everyone with a keyboard makes informed internet posts.

Whoopball

The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a Popsicle is a god guy with a Popsicle.

hookedonnews

Now THAT's funny.

JudgeMeNot's picture
JudgeMeNot

Being afraid of everything are the defining characteristics of today's liberals. It's hard to be a gun-grabber AND have principles.

swiss family

aahhh the gun carriers and their stupefied ignorance provided by people like Ted Nuegent have arrived,,, To set the record straight.. I believe every American has the right to carry and own a gun< if they meet the criteria...I also believe that guns are dangerous and we need to have some common sense restrictions on them, like the number and size of clips, or bullets in the magazines, which might only seem like a small thing to you all, but it creates a second of time and a chance for a mistake to happen or a jam to take place and give some desperate person with nothing to lose just the break they need to escape or try to overpower the shooter to save their life.. if you want to repeat the mantra of "shall not be infringed" well you are already being controlled.. you can not buy a tank, or flame thrower, or hand grenade, and many other weapons.. so they are already putting limits on what you can and can not have.As for this article.. I thought that in a "stand your ground state" if you felt threatened, you had the right to protect yourself".. am I right or not??? this person felt threatened , because of these Popsicle eating boys, so according to the law, she could have open fire on them.. which is an American tragedy.. and we need to address it before too many scared people who are just uncomfortable , a chance to kill one another..

rbenn

First off guns are not dangerous, people are. Second extended mags aren't even a factor. Check the statistics. Just the other day a kid ran around and stabbed 20 people, shall we limit the amount of kitchen knives you can have? Hammers kill lots of people, should we limit home depot on how many or what weight you can buy? Cars by far kill more than anything,shall we limit the miles driven to lessen this statistic? Your argument is ridiculous

rogerthat

Guns are not dangerous? Excuse me but my guns are dangerous as hell. That's why I like them! If you plan on using a gun to defend yourself or your family you better get yourself one that's dangerous! By the way, if that kid with the knife had a gun, particularly one with an extended mag, those 20 people would probably be dead. Cars do indeed kill. That's why we have lots of regulations on them and their use.

rbenn

All that spin damn aren't you dizzy? Please show me how many shootings are committed where extended mags were used. Newton conn? Nope, columbine? Nope, theater shooting in Colorado? Nope Chardon ? Nope Navel yard shooting? Nope ect

Whoopball

Yes he stabbed a lot of people...with no deaths. What would have been the outcome if he had a semi auto with a few clips? Your examples only point out how much more dangerous guns are than knives and hammers.

vicariouslyAlive

.... the ignorance of those claiming that others are ignorant is astounding in this comments section...

In a stand your ground state there actually has to be a threat... you can't just "feel" threatened and open fire... if so the trayvon case wouldn't have made any sense at all... you actually have to be facing a threat of personal harm in order to act on self defense...

The government can try to put limits on guns and clip sizes but its already too late. They're to proliferated. And I bet those regulations would work about as well as their drug regulations.

Its not about mag size that makes a gun lethal, its the user. My girlfriend can't hit 1sqft target at 20ft away with 15 rounds... I can hit the same target At 50ft with one round. Now under the rational of the those seeking to limit clip sizes that would mean my girlfriend is more dangerous than I am... which anyone with common sense knows otherwise. To the lat argument is moot. Yes, some weapons are regulated, in this state, but in other states things are different, and even within this state all you need is the proper life ending to own and operate a class 3 weapon and other deadly ordanences. And yes, some civilians do own tanks and one guy in Michigan owns 6 Russian MIGs and its all legal. So again... moot point...

rogerthat

In a crowd your girlfriend would be far more dangerous than you. With a 15 round mag she would spray more rounds and probably cause way more damage. I'm not saying she would hit her intended target but those 15 rounds would go somewhere. By the way, I would hope you could hit a 1 square ft. target at 100 yards.

vicariouslyAlive

i would tend to agree with the crowd... but most of the hits would be dumb luck... so the crowd would have to be tightly packed...

and a 1sqft target is a bit harder to hit than most people realize. at 50ft the comparative visuals make the target look the same size as the 9mm round going into it. at 100 yards 1sqft looks close to 1/16th of an inch when aiming down the iron sights... and the scope you may ask... well, i don't think many crazies would bother with a scoped rifle so do their close quarters mass killings... slow to the draw and kind of hard to hide...

all things being said, after the first shot, people will scatter quicker than roaches from a light. hitting a still target is hard enough, hitting a moving target... it's dumb luck for the untrained person... if one could manage to rattle off a full clip 10-15 rounds in rapid succession, the gun would bounce around enough to scatter the stream of rounds hitting maybe a quarter of the targets... it's not all as easy as the movies and macho men gun slinger wannabe's out there make it seem...

truckin

I was thinking same thing..So many uninformed people out there.
a pistol is a 20 yrd or less weapon.
100 yrd.. what a joke.. good job clearing facts.
Even in old westerns , multiple shots fired and not many get hit..
Way too many people watching Bruce Willis, etc., who gets every bad guy on first shot, while jumping, doing flips over furniture on a plane with busted windows, falling 1000 ft per second, to only have 100 shots fired, before showing any sign of changing a clip and think that is real..

rogerthat

So I'm guessing you guys can't hit a square foot target at 100 yards with a handgun? Oh, and yeah a gun will "bounce" around spraying rounds in all directions. Exactly my point. Spray 7 or 8 vs. spraying 15 or more. Myself I'd rather not have the extra weight of an extended mag. I would never put a scope on a handgun, scopes are for rifles.

vicariouslyAlive

Clip capacity also is determined by round size... those 7-8 shot clips you speak of are of higher caliber and would be more likely to result in a death. 9mm round in a full sized gun do go up to a 15 round mag, but its a bit harder to hid a gun of that size.

Here, do an expirement if you soooo sure of lethality. Go into the country side and set up some paper plates on posts. 4-5 in a 6ft width of space. Now stand 30ft away and unload your 15 round mag as quickly as possibly while trying to maintain accuracy. Tell me how many of those plates you hit. Then set up a notebook at one end if a football field and look at it from the other end and tell me how big it looks, then try telling yourself that if you do manage to hit the intended target its more than either extreme training or dumb luck.

And the plain and simple fact that you though for a single second I ever meant to put a scope on a pistol let's most people k ow that you have little to no clue as to what you're talking about.

Thank you to the lesson on how uninformed the average person is.

rogerthat

How about 6 clay pigeons against a railroad tie 50 ft away in 5 seconds with a 4 inch Python. That be good enough for you? How about a pop can 100 yards away with the same gun? Training yes. Extreme? Not really.

vicariouslyAlive

Well then we have a regular john Wayne on our hands. Now tell me in the time it took you to aim at your targets that someone in a crowd wouldn't have noticed you aiming at them? I find your story a bit far fetched and stretched to meet your end of the conversation but I'll be realistic for the readers at home.

Im an avid shooter. Taking my time and pacing out the rounds I can land 15 shots In 12” x 12”target at 30ft wwith my pistols. All of them and each on a different caliber. At 50ft I land 100% it it fakes more time in between shots. I have rapid fired many clips at 30ft just for fun, because who hasn't, and the accuracy drops through the floor... hitting maybe 4 on target if that. That's the reality of the matter.

In a school shooting situation they Aren't setting up shots and taking time to aim. Its the rapid fire scenario. And even if your argument is clip size, there still was no proposed legislation as to how many clips a person could own, and it takes maybe 3 seconds to reload... making that argument moot.

100 yard shot with a pistol you say... I say pictures or it didn't happen. Because the truth is at 100 yards with no scope you'd be hard pressed to see the target let alone hit it. Further more I. The running human scenario you'd then be aiming at moving targets. GU s just don't point and shoot and there's significant amount t of practice that goes into shooting a firearm accurately.

Funny how people educated by only action movies think its all too easy to land a shot... its a game of numbers, and even by trying to limit the number of rounds allowed in the clips there will still be multiple clips. And for the wannabe heroes in the room that are thinking about tackling a person while reloading, don't think that, because if you already aren't within as reach of the assailant, you won't make it there in time to take them down.

The problem you see isnt in the tools of destruction, the problem is the society that makes people belie e that using those tools in such a way is an acceptable course of action. The stabbing in penn. Shows is that where there is a will there is a way and that we can't regulate everything. So instead of the argument being on to gun or not to gun,ah e that time in effort should be going into scientific studies to figure out what's making g these people go haywire...

rogerthat

I accomplished the shots I mentioned repeatedly with what I consider moderate practice (500-600 rounds per week) I saw others that were a lot faster than me and some that were more accurate. Of course, I don't shoot nearly that much anymore due to the cost. (Thank you NRA for driving up the price of ammo and components.) If you are truly an avid shooter, reduce your target size and increase your distance gradually. You may surprise yourself. If you see an old guy shooting a handgun with iron sights at the range, on the longer ranges, that'll be me.

swiss family

to all the "puppets" who keep repeating the same old, "knives kill people too, so do hammers and so do cars" etc... you are kidding right?? have you ever seen any state proclaim any open hunting season ( which would be for the sole purpose of KILLING them ... right??)and declaring it knife season?? how about hammer season?? cars?? anything else besides gun or bow and arrow??? do you understand now???

rbenn

yeah I understand your an idiot and a blithering pansey

truckin

That has to be the most pathetic reasoning i have ever heard.
and now i feel i am much more "dum'er" for having read your response