Homeless Man with BB Gun Arrested Near Obama

By Andrew Lu on April 09, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A homeless man was arrested for having a BB gun near President Obama's passing motorcade.

The man, identified as 27-year-old Joseph Stravinskas, was apparently oblivious to to the fact that the President was passing by as he took BB gun practice in the nearby woods, reports the New York Post.

When confronted by Connecticut cops, Stravinskas refused to drop the weapon, leading to his arrest.

President Obama was scheduled to speak at the University of Hartford and state police protected the route from the university to the airport. Along this route, the authorities heard shot noises coming from the woods, writes the Post. There they found the homeless man armed with what looked like a rifle.

The homeless man did not appear to be a threat as he had his back turned to the road and was aiming at cans he lined up in the woods. Because he did not immediately drop the weapon when ordered, Stravinskas was thrown to the ground and arrested.

Ironically, President Obama was in Connecticut yesterday to give a speech about gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, reports the Post.

The homeless man was charged with threatening, breach of peace, and interfering with police. Because he did not appear to harbor any intentions on harming the President (nor did he seem to be aware of the passing President), Stravinskas will avoid the much more serious charges of threatening the President.

Federal laws make it a crime to threaten President Obama and Vice President Biden. Someone can generally be charged with the crime if he makes threatening statements, writes a threatening letter, or takes some action like carrying a gun in a menacing way towards the President or Vice President.

Someone convicted of the crime could face up to five years imprisonment in a federal penitentiary.

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