The Calgary Police Service (CPS) has confirmed a man was charged Sunday in an unusual incident that involved a long-barrel blowgun.
Police said they received a call from a member of the public Sunday who reported seeing a man with what looked like a rifle under the overpass at 34 Avenue and Deerfoot Trail S.E.. Police said the caller told them the man appeared to be pointing the weapon in different directions.
Police said they approached the area with caution and observed the man from a distance to gather more information. According to CPS, it looked like the man had a long gun and was actively aiming it at something in the area, however, it did not look like there were any members of the public in the area.
In a release, police said they chose to have their HAWCS helicopter fly in since attending police did not see a way to approach the man without a direct confrontation. CPS said a short time later, they witnessed the man loading the weapon into a rifle case and walking on a path up a hill on the east side of Deerfoot Trail, which is where they were able to intercept him.
According to police, the weapon turned out to be a three-foot long blowgun with a copper barrel, a wooden handle and a plastic stalk, all of which was covered with black tape. They said wooden darts were also located within the rifle case. Officers reported locating some cans under the overpass which had holes in them believed to match the diameter of the darts.
Police believe the man was doing target practice in a public place with the blowgun, which is a prohibited weapon.
Ryan Herman Thiel, 26, of Calgary has been charged with one count of possession of a weapon or imitation for a dangerous purpose.