Police say man showed fake gun to passing drivers

Published: Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10:50 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, November 19, 2012 at 10:56 a.m.

A homeless Gainesville man was arrested Sunday after police say he flashed a fake gun at passing cars.

Michael Petersen, 62, was sitting at a bus stop at Sun Bay Apartments, 716 SW 16th Ave., when a passing driver saw him pointing a silver handgun and called the Gainesville Police Department.

Officers arrived around 2:14 p.m. and found the gun next to Petersen on the bench, a report stated. They determined the weapon was a pellet gun but the report noted that it resembled a real pistol.

Petersen told police he intended to hide the gun while at Bo Diddley Community Plaza and point it at people so they wouldn’t bother him, according to the report. He said they would respect him after he threatened them, according to the report.

Petersen, a convicted felon, was arrested and charged with attempted aggravated assault and showing prejudice while committing a crime because he directed his comments to people of a specific race.

He was in the Alachua County jail on Monday morning awaiting his first appearance before a judge.

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