A man who pointed a BB gun at President Obama’s motorcade in Connecticut has been arrested, police confirm, and the suspect was acting “suspiciously” before the alleged actions and arrest.
Local press reports that Obama’s motorcade was in the process of leaving the University of Hartford, where the President had been visiting for a gun control speech.
The man with a BB gun was spotted in Bloomfield, pacing and behaving erratically before he was seen point what appeared to be a rifle at Obama’s motorcade near the intersection of Charter Avenue and Cottage Grove Road.
Police reportedly tackled the man with a BB gun, and the suspect was later identified as Joseph Stravinskas, 27. Stravinskas was said to have been questioned by the Secret Service after he was taken into custody.
Local news source the Hartford Courantreports that Stravinskas is believed to be homeless, and was also said shooting at cans before the incident. The suspect was also said to be “uncooperative after his arrest,” and the paper adds:
“Joseph Stravinskas, 27, was charged with threatening, breach of peace and interfering with police, Capt. Stephen Hajdasz said Tuesday. His bail was set at $15,000; he was expected to be arraigned in Superior Court in Hartford later in the day.”
Ron Pinciaro, executive director of Connecticut Against Gun Violence, said of Obama’s speech before the BB gun arrest:
“It’s more than symbolic. It gives us a chance at the national level. It’s a tough fight, it’s an uphill fight … but it shows that the president is really behind this. He wants this, and that bully pulpit thing is extremely important.”
The incident with the BB gun and Obama’s motorcade occurred while the President was en route to Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks.