A fake gun led to real charges for a 22-year-old male on Friday.
Sam Sutton, 22, was charged with possession of an imitation firearm outside of the South Brunswick Municipal Court last week.
At 3:30 p.m. on July 13, Sgt. James Ryan approached a burgundy Jaguar he saw parked in the fire lane in front of the municipal court.
Police said Sutton told Sgt. Ryan that his sister was in court paying a ticket and he was just waiting in the car for her to return. When Sgt. Ryan requested the driver’s identification, Sutton allegedly didn't move and kept staring at the officer.
Upon closer examination, Sgt. Ryan allegedly observed the butt of a gun sticking out of Sutton’s front pants pocket, according to police. Sutton was then instructed to raise his hands and not move until additional officers arrived.
Officers allegedly found a replica .22-caliber handgun that produced a blade when the trigger was pulled instead of bullets, police said. Sutton could provide no legitimate reason why he had the replica sticking out of his pocket, according to police.
A subsequent search revealed that Sutton also had outstanding warrants from Robbinsville. He was additionally issued a motor vehicle summons for parking in a fire lane.
Sutton was transported to the Middlesex County Adult Correction Center in lieu of $500 bail.
"We train our officers to quickly assess situations and react," said Chief Raymond Hayducka via release. "In this case, the suspect was in front of the municipal court, in a fire lane, and had what appeared to be a handgun in his waist. It’s not clear if Mr. Sutton was looking for a confrontation or clueless to the danger he created. The fact that Sgt. Ryan was in plainclothes and in an unmarked car may have delayed Mr. Sutton’s reaction and prevented the situation from escalating."