Police Dispatch

The Nonsmoking Gun

Foothills Area

July 22, 6:44 a.m.

A trailer-park woman who'd just quit smoking wielded an apparent rifle—later judged to have been a BB gun—at her neighbors' family due to her annoyance with their barking dogs, a Pima County Sheriff's Department report stated.

The reportee told sheriff's deputies he'd just let out his dog that morning, when a blonde woman—his next-door neighbor—appeared outside his trailer with a gun in her hands, banging it on his fence and angrily yelling words he couldn't comprehend (since she spoke English and he spoke Spanish). He said the gun looked like a hunting rifle—brown and black with a long barrel.

When the man exited his home to confront her, he said, the woman stopped banging the gun on the fence and pointed it at his trailer, which made him fear for the safety of his two young children inside. He said she eventually stopped yelling, pointed the gun in the air and walked away—while he went inside to call law enforcement.

Deputies went next door to ask the subject what was going on with her and her neighbors. She said their dogs "are always barking and waking her up" and that she'd "just recently quit smoking ... (and) ... the dogs were really getting on her nerves." So, she said, this morning she'd decided to "walk over there and (bang) on their fence with the thing."

Asked what she meant by "the thing," she replied, "The BB gun." She said she'd grabbed her BB gun when she went out to complain because "she just needed something to bang on the fence with to try to get the attention of the persons who live there."

Although deputies learned the subject also owned a .22 rifle, they believed her story, since her trailer-mate corroborated it (and the neighbors weren't positive that the gun had actually been a rifle). Though she became a bit belligerent when handcuffed, the woman was released after being cited for assault without injury.

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