Release Date: September 29th, 2020 - 10:52am
Originator: Constable, Ryan Anderson, Corporate Communications, 905 825 4899
Contact: Constable, Ryan Anderson, Corporate Communications, 905 825 4899
The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) is warning the public about the use of replica weapons after an evening of film making resulted in a gunpoint arrest in Oakville.
On Saturday September 26, 2020, at approximately 11:15 pm, a witness called 911 after observing a male victim being held at gunpoint and forced into an apartment unit on Marlborough Court in Oakville. Witnesses also reported seeing a hatchet and hearing screaming and yelling coming from the apartment.
Due to the nature of the information provided to police, our response was immediate, and included members of the Tactical Rescue Unit. Officers were able to quickly deescalate the situation and take four males into custody without any physical injuries.
During a search of the apartment, officers located a prop handgun and a plastic hatchet. The arrested parties explained to police that they were film students, and that the weapons and screaming and yelling had been part of a film shoot.
All parties were released unconditionally and no charges will be laid by police.
Prop guns can be mistaken for genuine firearms by members of the public. This poses potential risks for public safety, as police will respond to any reported incident under the assumption that the firearm is real and not authorized. While this particular incident ended safely, we would like to avoid a similar incident in the future.
What You Can Do
Contact your local police service to notify them of your intent to film a movie or do a photography shoot that may appear suspicious to others. Should a member of the public call police stating a concern, the police will then have prior knowledge of the filming event and be in a position to respond effectively and safely.
When filming in public, be sure to review any relevant filming policies, and obtain proper filming permits from the town or city where the shoot is taking place.