Man Just Released on Bail Traveled More Than an Hour Away to a Walmart, Threatened People with Stolen Pellet Rifle
Aaron Keller, Law & Crime, April 3, 2021
According to the Colonie Police Department, Forehand bailed out of the Oneida County Jail, traveled to Latham, N.Y., a hamlet within Colonie, and went shopping with a relative at a Walmart. Inside, the police say “he suddenly grabbed the pellet rifle from the store clerk” and “ran through the store into the parking lot.”
From there, he allegedly “ran through the area, menacing multiple people and attempting to steal at least two vehicles.”
Officers arrived and took him into custody. They subsequently released several still images taken from dash cam videos.
“Throughout this incident, until just prior to being taken into custody, all the witnesses, including police officers, believed this pellet rifle to be an actual firearm,” the Colonie Police Department said in a Facebook post on Thursday. The incident occurred Wednesday at about 12:20 in the afternoon.
Police noted that the Walmart was put into temporary lockdown. Witnesses driving through the area and victims were encouraged to call the police to report what they saw.
Under New York law, pellet guns are not directly defined as “firearms.” However, the charges suggest pellet guns are considered “weapons” under other statutes. Elsewhere, the laws state that “air rifles” are minimally regulated; they cannot be possessed by individuals under age 16 without direct supervision.
The Colonie Police Department added that Forehand had been in custody prior to the incident at the Oneida County Jail, more than an hour and a half west of the scene of the arrest in Latham, since March 7th. He was being held “on unrelated domestic violence charges,” that department said.
According to Utica City Court records reviewed by Law&Crime, Forehand had previously been charged with second-degree harassment (in connection with a Jan. 16 incident); trespass (in connection with a Jan. 28 incident); three counts of criminal contempt of court (for incidents dated Feb. 4, March 3, and March 7); and obstruction of governmental administration (in connection with a Dec. 8, 2020 incident). He pleaded not guilty to each of the counts on Jan. 16, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, March 3, March 7, and Jan. 28, respectively; he is scheduled to appear in court again on all of the Utica charges on April 27.