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Gun tattoo brings SWAT team to home

maine tree workers state police waistband tattoo misunderstanding

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#1 Hum

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:44

NORRIDGEWOCK — Michael Smith went outside shirtless after being awakened Tuesday morning, yelling at a tree removal company to get off his property.

The workers thought they saw a gun in his waistband and called police.

Smith, who’d gone back to bed, was awakened again minutes later — this time by Maine State Police at his front door, backed up by a group of troopers with assault rifles in his driveway. They were asking him via a megaphone to come out of his house.

Smith did have a gun. It was tattooed on his stomach.

No charges will be filed against Smith, but police said they always take reports of a gun or threat seriously. Several police standoffs with armed men have occurred in central Maine in recent years, some of them deadly.

“Obviously it was a misunderstanding and he didn’t have a weapon, but we had to respond to the initial report as if he did,” Maine State Police Trooper Scott Duff said. “We take all precautions when we don’t have the details.”

Smith was asleep at his home, about 10 a.m. Tuesday when he heard a loud noise outside his window. He said it sounded as though someone was driving up his driveway and crunching the thick layer of ice on it.

Smith, who works nights, said he was still asleep and was surprised to see a crew of workers from Lucas Tree Experts preparing to saw a number of trees around some power lines on his property.

Wearing just a pair of pants and no shirt, though the temperature was in the teens, he went outside and asked them to leave.

The tree removal company workers reported that as they backed into the driveway, Smith told them not to cut the trees. They told him it was not a problem.

Smith went back to bed; but as the workers were leaving, one thought he saw a pistol in Smith’s waistband.

That’s when they called the police, momentarily prompting reports of a police standoff.

“They weren’t 100 percent sure what he was saying,” Duff said, “but he was yelling and they thought it could be some sort of a threat. They thought he was yelling something to the effect of doing harm, but when we got a hold of him, it ended up just being a tattoo.”

It was all just a misunderstanding, both Smith and police said.

The tattoo of the life-size handgun is positioned on Smith’s body to look as if the barrel of the gun is tucked into the waist of his pants. He said he doesn’t regret getting it, even though this isn’t the first time the tattoo has been the focus of police attention.

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#2 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:52

Smith did have a gun. It was tattooed on his stomach.

He sounds like a lovely guy.  :rolleyes:



#3 cork1958

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 10:58

He sounds like a lovely guy.  :rolleyes:

 

And it also sounds like the tree guys need to get their eyes examined! :s



#4 theyarecomingforyou

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:02

And it also sounds like the tree guys need to get their eyes examined! :s

Did you see the picture?

 

20140319_458819_xml_2014_0318_tattoo_1.j

 

The tattoo could easily be confused with a real gun from a distance and I'm sure that was his intent. He looks like a thoroughly unpleasant individual.



#5 blerk

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:10

Did you see the picture?

 

The tattoo could easily be confused with a real gun from a distance and I'm sure that was his intent. He looks like a thoroughly unpleasant individual.

:wacko: That's an ...interesting tattoo...



#6 OP Hum

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:14

tree removal company workers reported ...

 

Nice to see people can't mind their own business.

 

They could of asked him about the 'gun'.



#7 Dane

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:18

Did you see the picture?

 

20140319_458819_xml_2014_0318_tattoo_1.j

 

The tattoo could easily be confused with a real gun from a distance and I'm sure that was his intent. He looks like a thoroughly unpleasant individual.

 

 

Uhh,  No.   If I saw that, I'd take notice it wasn't real.  I'd also look for a bulge in that area.  I'd also notice the "trigger is up above, so if the pants are as low, that much of the barrel would make it fall out.  

 

 

What a complete waste of tax dollars. 



#8 +Nik L

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:23

He had a tattoo to make it look like he had a gun. That was the point of the tattoo.  It worked.



#9 HawkMan

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:29

Uhh,  No.   If I saw that, I'd take notice it wasn't real.  I'd also look for a bulge in that area.  I'd also notice the "trigger is up above, so if the pants are as low, that much of the barrel would make it fall out.  

 

 

What a complete waste of tax dollars. 

 

yes, in good light, and with enough time to stand there and study it sure you would notice all that. 

 

in the dim morning light where you only see the shadow of it, and you only glimpse it as he's turning around, no you wouldn't. also his pants could have been much higher up when he was out the first time. but again with only a glimpse of a shadow shaped like a gun... yeah you'd assume it was a gun. 



#10 xrobwx

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:02

 

Damn, he resembles Edward Norton in the movie American History X.

American.History.X.02.png



#11 OP Hum

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:12

I'd also look for a bulge in that area.

I bet the workers were looking for a bulge, too. :shifty:



#12 arachnoid

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:16

He received his three minutes of fame by having the tattoo in such an obvious place for an armed assailant, if he got shot some time soon I wouldn't be surprised .............move along nothing more to see here



#13 Anibal P

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:19

Problem is that if legally owned he could have had a weapon in his waist belt and it still would not have been an illegal act, only brandishing it or threatening with it are illegal, the police should fine the tree people for wasting their time and money 



#14 HawkMan

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:41

Problem is that if legally owned he could have had a weapon in his waist belt and it still would not have been an illegal act, only brandishing it or threatening with it are illegal, the police should fine the tree people for wasting their time and money 

 

Well sicne they know the adress, I'm sure the cops could look up if he had a license before they went out. 

 

and either way, going out topless, with a gun sticking out of your waist could be considered brandishing, it's not exactly holstered, it's an agressive brandishing of the gun, a holster is neutral, ish...



#15 Dane

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:50

yes, in good light, and with enough time to stand there and study it sure you would notice all that. 

 

in the dim morning light where you only see the shadow of it, and you only glimpse it as he's turning around, no you wouldn't. also his pants could have been much higher up when he was out the first time. but again with only a glimpse of a shadow shaped like a gun... yeah you'd assume it was a gun. 

From that picture, it looks like mid day or late afternoon.  911 call goes out, press follows (usually in most places anyway) so it can't be too long after the call was made.    People need to think though.  "Oh, he has a gun, is he pointing it at me? no? ok then"

 

I here in PA, were openly carrying at a Wawa talking to a friend who works there as they were making me a sub.   It was holstered.  Some guy from New Jersey thought it would be great to call 911 to report "A man with a gun at wawa".  Police showed up as I was still talking.  Looked at me, "Do you have a license to carry?" I said "Yes, but I don't need one to conceal so you may not see it".   They said "have a good day" they told the guy from NJ who was ###### " I Can't do that in my state! Why can they do it here?!"  

 

Some people are just a joke.   

 

I got a chance to look at the text from the 911 call comments because I FOI requested it.  It was along the lines of "Male with a gun standing in Wawa talking,  non violent.  Is holstered"  

 

Well sicne they know the adress, I'm sure the cops could look up if he had a license before they went out. 

 

and either way, going out topless, with a gun sticking out of your waist could be considered brandishing, it's not exactly holstered, it's an agressive brandishing of the gun, a holster is neutral, ish...

 

Depending if they have open carry laws or not.  If they do, then he's ok.