Armed mannequin joke angers cautious deputies

By » Fri, January 13 2012

sns011012shotgundu 1067925c Armed mannequin joke angers cautious deputies

By Jessica Heffner, Dayton Daily News

What started off as a practical joke turned into a standoff with deputies, but no one at the sheriff’s office is laughing.

It was dark, just after 7 p.m. Sunday, when a woman in the 5300 block of West National Road called 911 to report a stranger sitting on her porch with a gun.

“I turned on the porch light, and they’re sitting right there on the porch on the steps,” she told dispatchers. “It looks like they have a gun barrel sticking out of them.”

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office responded, and deputies also saw a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt sitting on the porch. He had a beer bottle tucked in his arm and what looked like a 22-gauge shotgun across his lap.

In the dark, deputies were unable to see his face clearly. They shouted commands for him to drop the gun, but he didn’t move. A deputy used the back door to creep up behind him but as he pushed his assault rifle against the suspect he realized something was off.

“Clear 99. It’s a mannequin,” the deputy said.

The mannequin — which was holding a toy gun — was placed there by a family member as part of a practical joke. But following the shooting death of Deputy Suzanne Hopper last January, Sheriff Gene Kelly said an armed suspect is no laughing matter.

“He was not responding. We didn’t know if we had some person who was suicidal, intoxicated, armed, if they had committed other crimes,” Kelly said. “Practical jokes are fine, but this is (one) that was way over the edge and that went too far.”

Tammy Moore, 46, of 907 White Pine St. in New Carlisle, has been charged with inducing panic, a misdemeanor.

Family members were upset Moore is facing charges for what they call a “misunderstanding.” However, they recognized the seriousness of the prank.

“Definitely don’t bring guns into a joke ’cause that’s not a joke. That’s definitely a big lesson you can learn from this,” said Kyle Keeton, son of the victim.

Moore could not be reached for comment. She will be arraigned at 10:30 a.m. today in Clark County Municipal Court.

Read @Dayton Daily News

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