WATERVILLE — Appearances can be deceiving, as police learned Monday after responding to the local Walmart where witnesses said a man had loaded a handgun in the lobby and entered the store.

A man did enter the lobby but an investigation revealed he was merely trying to re-secure a pellet gun that had fallen out of his pants, according to Waterville police Sgt. Joshua Woods, who was at the scene.

“He said his pants had fallen down and he tried to re-secure it in his pants,” Woods said.

Woods said the man, who appeared to be in his late 20s or early 30s, actually hid around a corner in the lobby so as not to alarm anyone who may have seen him with the pellet gun, which he carries for visual protection.

Police received a call from the store at 11:22 a.m. and detectives, patrol officers and Woods headed to Walmart, located on the west end of Waterville Commons Drive off Main Street.

Police met with loss prevention employees and looked at a store camera where they saw the suspect and radioed other officers who located him inside the store, according to Woods.


“We found him pretty quick on the camera and made contact with him,” Woods said. “Based on what the officer saw on the camera, we determined that there was no threat — or that he was holding it in a threatening manner.”

No crime was determined to have been committed, so no charges were filed, he said.

Cruisers with blue lights flashing rushed late Monday morning to the scene, where shoppers were coming and going from the store and did not appear to be aware of what was happening. It was 5 degrees Farenheit and a bitter wind blew off the Walmart parking lot.

Police were convening in a room off the westernmost lobby of the store and emerged just before noon, when Woods explained what had occurred.

Amy Calder — 861-9247


Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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