UPDATE: Rochester man charged with threats of violence for allegedly pointing fake gun at police, instead of assault with a deadly weapon

(ABC 6 News) – According to court documents, Rochester resident Robert Barnes faces one charge of threats of violence–displaying a replica firearm and one charge of domestic assault after an incident on 10th Avenue SE Sunday.

Barnes is suspected of pointing a realistic-looking Airsoft gun at officers when they entered his apartment.

Rochester police initially recommended a charge of 2nd-degree assault with a deadly weapon, even though the implement Barnes pointed at police was not a real firearm.

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester police took a local man into custody Sunday after allegedly being threatened with a realistic-looking Airsoft gun.

At about 3:24 p.m., Rochester police responded to an apartment building in the 1400 block of 10th Avenue SE, after 9-1-1 callers allegedly reported hearing a man say “I am going to kill you” during a verbal altercation in one of the residences.

Capt. Casey Moilanen with the RPD said officers knocked on the apartment door, but 61-year-old Robert Barnes allegedly refused to open the door to officers and told them to return with a warrant.

Moilanen said officers retrieved a key to the apartment from the landlord after Barnes allegedly refused to let them confirm the welfare of everyone in the residence.

Officers unlocked the door, Moilanen said, and allegedly saw Barnes “squared up in a firing position,” pointing what appeared to be a black, semi-automatic handgun at the door.

The officers retreated, fearing gunfire, Moilanen said.

After a short time without any fire, Moilanen said one of the officers peeked around the doorframe to ensure that Barnes wasn’t planning to come around the door and saw him with his hands raised, without the suspected handgun.

Moilanen said police took Barnes into custody and recovered a “replica handgun,” which was actually an Airsoft gun made to look like a Beretta. Officers also allegedly recovered a replica revolver.

Moilanen said police recommended a charge of 2nd-degree assault with a deadly weapon for pointing the Airsoft gun at police, even though the replica gun was not a real weapon.

“He’s lucky he didn’t get shot,” Moilanen said.

It is unclear whether the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office will charge Barnes with 2nd-degree assault.

Barnes also faces one charge of domestic assault, after Rochester police allegedly found a 58-year-old woman locked in one of the apartment’s bedrooms.
Moilanen said the woman was found laying on the ground, complaining of head pain. She was assessed by Mayo Clinic Ambulance workers, then taken to St. Marys hospital, he added.