Lifelike replica weapons endangered teens

Historic City News has learned that a complaint affidavit against three St. Johns County teenagers has been filed — charging each boy with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence.

Sunday evening, shortly before 6:00 p.m., E-911 dispatchers received two separate calls from Interstate travelers who reported seeing a man on a billboard armed with a long barrel firearm; possibly a shotgun or rifle.

Deputies checked several billboards in the area of I-95 and CR-210 where they observed several subjects walking westbound on a dirt road that parallels the power lines.

When deputies ordered the subjects to stop, Sheriff’s spokesman Kevin Kelshaw says the teens took off running.

The investigation led deputies to a residence in the on New Wales Lane where they located a 16 year-old; wearing a mask and dressed in camouflage. The juvenile was ordered to the ground at gunpoint.

After several commands and the juvenile’s non-compliance, he was forced to his stomach and questioned.

Kelshaw told Historic City News that the teen said he was a guest at the residence. He told deputies that several others were playing with their “airsoft” replica weapons in the woods.

A parent was contacted and confirmed that eight juveniles, between the ages 15 years-old and 16 years-old, were at the residence. She believed they had been playing with their airsoft replica weapons.

All of the juveniles were brought outside for questioning. The three that ran from deputies earlier were identified. The parents of the teens were notified to respond to the scene.

Deputies seized 14 assorted “airsoft” replica weapons that resemble actual handguns, machine guns, rifles and shotguns.

The juveniles and parents were warned of the potentially fatal consequences of displaying toy weapons that appeared too real.

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