Obama BB gun incident leads to homeless man’s arrest near motorcade route

Posted at 4:37 PM, Apr 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-09 16:42:24-04
Joseph Stravinskas Thumb

Joseph Stravinskas appeared Tuesday in Hartford Superior Court. ( Courtesy of Bloomfield Police Department / April 9, 2013 )

Connecticut police arrested a man Monday after he pulled out a rifle-like BB gun while standing near President Barack Obama’s motorcade as it passed.

The man, 27-year-old Joseph Stravinskas, says he didn’t mean the president any harm, and his lawyer, Corey Brinson, claims he was just shooting at targets in his friend’s nearby yard.

Stravinskas, who is homeless, is charged with threatening, breach of peace and interfering with police — he is currently held on $50,000 bail.

A Connecticut police officer who was securing an area near the motorcade route reportedly heard rustling in the woods off of Central Ave., and found Stravinskas aiming a BB gun — initially believed to be a rifle — at a can.  He ordered Stravinskas to drop the weapon but he refused, instead turning the pellet gun on the officer.

Stravinskas, eventually dropped the weapon and was taken into custody.  Secret Service agents later came to the police department to talk with him.

Obama gave an impassioned speech Monday at the University of Hartford calling for increased gun control measures and remembering the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting.