Firefighters doing home safety checks faced a different threat

Posted at 7:13 PM, Sep 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-18 19:13:31-04

Firefighters put their lives on the line every time they answer a call. On Sunday, firefighters in Annapolis faced a very different threat as they tried to promote public safety.

They were checking home smoke alarms on Tyler Avenue when they spotted a man in a back yard with a handgun.

"They locked eyes with the guy and started a conversation," said Cpl. Amy Miguez of the Annapolis Police Department. "One of the first questions the firefighters asked was 'Is that a real gun?' and the guy didn't answer but dropped a magazine from the magazine well of the handgun and then sat down and looked like he was loading it with bullets."

The firefighters ran and called police who arrived, searched the house, discovered a fake handgun and arrested 19-year-old Oscar Chavez.

One of the man's friends said he didn't mean to scare the firefighters, he just didn't understand what they were saying because his understanding of English is limited.

"They got confused. It's a BB gun, but it looks like a real gun. That's why they did everything like that," said Chavez's friend, Exequiel Ruiz.

His neighbors were also quick to come to his defense.

"They're a great part of the community and when I heard last night that there was some sort of miscommunication, I was concerned for them and I wish them the best," said Dillon Paiva.

Chavez faces first and second degree assault, and reckless endangerment charges.