Lincoln City Police placed seven visiting male juveniles in handcuffs Friday night at Space Age gas station, due to them brandishing a “machine gun.”
The weapon in question turned out to be a replica MP5 airsoft gun, which shoots spherical plastic projectiles, that the teens said they were playing with.
“The gun lights up but the batteries stopped working,” one of the young men said. “It would have been better if the gun had lit up.”
All seven of the boys, aged 16-17 and visiting from Vancouver, Wash., were told to exit a white minivan at gunpoint. One by one they were commanded to walk backwards toward awaiting officers, where they were placed in handcuffs, seated on a curb and interviewed.
The 17-year-old driver of the minivan received a citation, but police could not comment what the charge was due to him being a minor. No other citations were issued.
According to the teenagers, they were on a grocery store run for their parents when multiple police cruisers pulled them over and boxed them in at the gas station.
One teen described the event: “Our driver was shaking and was like ‘man what do I do? Where do I pull over?’ At least we got the olive oil.”
Another young man said he told his parents what was happening and the father said “please be joking.” The boys said their parents were waiting for them to return at a beach house rented nearby.
The teenagers said they were playing with the gun and realized after the fact that “it was stupid.” An eyewitness who saw the gun said it looked like the boys painted over the orange tip designed for safety and “only a bit of orange was showing.”
A local fisherman stopped to see what was happening and realized he knew the young gentlemen because they were on his boat earlier that day on a chartered fishing trip. The fisherman talked to the boys and was glad the entire bunch didn’t get cited and said he did worse when he was their age.
“It was a different time then,” he said.