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Kent Man Arrested for Inducing Panic Near High School

Police respond after calls about a man with a gun near school campus; weapon found to be air gun

It's been a hairy 24 hours for students and parents of Theodore Roosevelt High School.

Kent Police arrested a Kent man Monday afternoon after receiving calls that he was waving a gun in public near the high school campus.

Kent Police Lt. James Prusha said five officers responded to a call at 2:41 p.m. Monday that a man was carrying a gun on North Mantua Street near Needham Avenue — several hundred feet from the school when classes were ending for the day.

Prusha said officers encountered Todd J. Hyde, 19, of 1528 Benjamin Court, and found he was carrying an air-powered BB gun.

"You couldn't tell it was a BB gun until you got right up on it," Prusha said.

One parent who saw Hyde carrying the air gun called the high school, which in turn called police, Kent City Schools Director of Business Services Jim Soyars said.

Neither police nor school officials could confirm if Hyde is a student at the high school. Hyde told officers he removed the gun from his pocket to reload the BB cartridge after it become dislodged from the gun.

Prusha said the department received several calls, and as a result Hyde was charged with inducing panic, a first-degree misdemeanor.

It's not illegal to carry an air gun or BB gun in public.

"There was no indication he pointed it at anybody," Prusha said. "To do that at school closing time when all the students are exiting makes everybody uptight, justifiably so, and is illegal in my book."

Hyde is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge in Portage County Municipal Court Thursday morning.

The gun scare happened less than 24 hours before a report of suspicious packages found this morning at the high school that turned out to be a false alarm.

L.R. Cline December 11, 2012 at 05:21 PM
How about locking his heels and letting him off with a stern warning?
Dave Mail December 11, 2012 at 06:06 PM
Cheeze. A bit of an overreaction I would say.
Troy E. Gilbert December 11, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Last I checked the Ohio revised code I was allowed to carry any gun in full view of the public while walking in public.
Matt Fredmonsky December 11, 2012 at 06:56 PM
A comment was removed for violating Patch's terms of use. http://kent.patch.com/terms
Teresa K. December 11, 2012 at 06:56 PM
why was HE charged with inducing the panic? why werent the CALLERS? He was walking down the sidewalk and didnt point it at anyone. He was minding his own business not bothering anyone. He didnt break any law by carrying the gun.
Confederate American December 11, 2012 at 07:24 PM
People need to get over the fact that it is our 2nd amendment. The guy did nothing wrong. Why was he charged????,,,,, because that's what the liberal public want. Its not fair.
Confederate American December 11, 2012 at 07:26 PM
It is however illegal to carry any weapon on any school property. He was not! And the kpd did do a great job........of over reacting. Everyone involved (except the guy) wanted to be a hero.
Chris (Kit) Myers December 11, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Why did you remove my comment? All I said was that I found it odd that school officials could not confirm he was a student. How does that violate your terms of use?
Matt Fredmonsky December 11, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Chris, I did not remove your comment (at least intentionally). If you're comment disappeared, I'm not sure why. The comment I removed was by a different user.
SchumannsRoadside December 12, 2012 at 02:44 AM
There is no "Open Carry Law" in Ohio... the Ohio Revised Code does not authorize, prohibit, or otherwise regulate the open carry of firearms on foot. Open Carry of a handgun or long gun is protected across Ohio by virtue of ORC 9.68 which preempts any municipal laws prohibiting the act. There is no requirement of residency or license to carry openly in Ohio - however, you must be legally in possession of the firearm that you intend to carry. It is recommended that you be at least 18 to carry a long gun, and 21 for handguns.
SchumannsRoadside December 12, 2012 at 02:47 AM
You may not carry a "loaded" handgun in a motor vehicle in Ohio without a recognized Concealed Handgun License. The definition of "loaded" in Ohio means you must have no ammunition in the gun, and no ammunition in a compatible magazine or speedloader anywhere in the vehicle. You may not carry a "loaded" (same definition) long arm in a vehicle, even with a recognized Concealed Handgun License. You may not carry in a room or open area covered by a Class D liquor license (bars and restaurants that serve alcohol for consumption on the premises) unless you are licensed to carry concealed and are not consuming alcohol or already intoxicated http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.121 "No Guns" signs DO carry legal weight other than trespassing.. just clearing the air
Chris (Kit) Myers December 12, 2012 at 02:56 AM
OK. Thanks, Matt.
Myron Holley December 12, 2012 at 05:10 AM
ARREST THE CALLERS AS THEY INDUCED THE PANIC ATTACK.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! December 12, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Ah, guns. How worthless.
Dave Mail December 12, 2012 at 04:14 PM
It is far better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.
Dave Mail December 12, 2012 at 04:15 PM
Remember we are talking about an air pistol here. I agree with all you have posted but the firearms laws do not carry over to air pistols usually.
Matt Fredmonsky December 12, 2012 at 04:20 PM
My apologies.
Matthias P. December 12, 2012 at 05:12 PM
I think it should be clear that he did not have a firearm, he had an air rifle. open carry is usually defined with a firearm. Was he pointing it around with threat? Then I can understand police involvement. If he was just walking by, he should never have been arrested.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! December 12, 2012 at 06:43 PM
It is far better to have a brain and use it than to need to use your brain and not be able to use the one you were born with. What are you afraid of? How many times have you stopped and thought, gee, wish I had my gun. Things would have turned out so much better if only I had my gun on me. We are wrapped in a culture of fear. And I'm an enigma wrapped in bacon. Delicious!
toddjameshyde December 12, 2012 at 07:05 PM
ik thank you and honestly no i just was holding it in my hand just walking down the street it wasnt even loaded so i dont like kpd
Chris (Kit) Myers December 12, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Please don't blame the KPD as a whole based upon this one incident. There may well come a day that you will need their services and you will find them to be responsive, thorough, and friendly. You will have your day in court and we'll see how it goes. I think while it is not illegal to carry a firearm, considering the school shootings that have happened, it was not a good thing to have the gun, even though it was a BB gun and you were not on school property, around the kids. I can certainly understand their fear. Think about it. Don't walk around with bitterness or a chip on your shoulder. There are a lot of people who do that and it gains them absolutely nothing. You are young. Enjoy all life has to offer. And may the fates smile upon you.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! December 12, 2012 at 11:26 PM
They are often thought of as toys, but BB guns and other nonpowder guns are sometimes lethal and injure as many as 21,000 Americans each year, according to a new report. "These are not the kinds of BB guns that I grew up with," Watts said. Today's BB guns "are extremely high-powered," and some can shoot with a velocity nearly matching a .22-caliber rifle, Watts said. These guns include powerful air rifles introduced in the 1970s and paintball pistols used in war games. They are sometimes described as fake guns and often given to children as gifts, but the report says they can cause internal injuries similar to those from bullets.
Sara Jurovcik December 13, 2012 at 04:49 AM
If I drove by the high school and saw a dude with a gun walking down the street, I'd probably call the cops too. Not because it should be illegal, but because it's a guy with a gun by a high school. I bet there are people in Littleton who wish they would have called the cops earlier. Gun law and debate aside, my top priority is those kids' safety.
Rachel Marie December 14, 2012 at 06:54 PM
It is not illegal to carry a firearm, correct. But lets use our common sense here....you are near a school. With everything that has happened with school shootings you should know better. I am glad KPD responded the way that they did. What if the person was someone with a gun and they were going to hurt someone? You cant take chances. Those BB guns are made now to look like hand guns. This kid deserved the charges, what do you expect. If KPD hadn't taken action....the "regular haters" of the KPD would have had comments on that as well.
James Thomas January 11, 2013 at 04:15 PM
I believe all sides acted appropriately here. Mr Hyde did nothing illegal, the callers reported something to the police that might have been dangerous, the police responded with dilligence and controlled the situation. Now the appropriate action is to drop all charges so that an innocent person is not penalized with a criminal record for legal behavior.

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