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Winthrop man charged with criminal dumbassery for allegedly pointing a fake AK-47 at people before parade

Gregory Gill, 23, is scheduled for arraignment on two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon in East Boston Municipal Court today after he allegedly pointed "a realistic-looking replica AK47 at passersby" during preparations for the Winthrop July Fourth parade on Saturday, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

A charge of assault with a dangerous weapon is based not on whether something is an actual weapon, but whether the victims in the case thought it was at the time.

According to the DA's office, shortly before the parade kicked off around 10 a.m.:

Gill sat atop a military vehicle in a Revere Street parking lot, pointing a replica assault weapon at passing vehicles. One vehicle was occupied by two victims. As they passed Gill, he pointed the firearm and stated loud enough for them to hear, “Head shot, boom.”

Immediately after the encounter, the victims flagged down a Winthrop Police officer to report the terrifying incident. The weapon was located inside the military vehicle and Gill was taken into custody.

The DA's office reports Judge Steven Key set bail at $500, ordered Gill to home confinement while the case is pending and to wear a GPS device.

Innocent, etc.

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While insanely stupid and totally insensitive given what happened in Chicago, I think this particular incident could use greater context and detail. The military vehicle was a WWII-era half-track that used to belong to the US military. The fake AK-47 was not an AK-47, but rather a replica Thompson submachine gun, one of the weapons commonly issued to US forces during WWII. The half-track and replica Thompson were intended to be on display as part of the July Fourth celebrations. A person not associated with the WWII display somehow climbed into the half-track and got a hold of the replica Thompson. He then pointed the replica Thompson at passersby while making machine gun noises with his mouth like a child would.

Re-enactors often point replica firearms at each other during shows, but they have a mutual understanding that the firearms are props and that they should never be pointed at the audience. In this incident, a person picked up a replica firearm, possibly without even knowing if it was a harmless prop or not, and pointed it at passersby who certainly did not know it was a prop. Completely and utterly idiotic.

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