ROCHESTER - A decision to allow airsoft pistol enthusiasts to use Hanson Pines for their group activities and sport has been shelved after an onlooker became concerned and called police when they saw four people get out of their cars with a rifle Friday night after dark.
The incident unfolded around 9:15 p.m. when a person called Rochester Police dispatch to say they'd seen the men get out of various vehicles with a firearm.
A few minutes later police arrived and found the group, all with BB guns.
Airsoft guns come in handgun, rifle and assault rifle models and have sometimes been mistaken for real guns.
Rochester Police Capt. Todd Pinkham said today that a small group had reached out to the rec department asking if they could play airsoft in the Pines.
"They were advised they could as long as they didn't do it near any of the main paved walkways," Pinkham said in a statement today. "Since they were granted permission, it was asked that they at least notify police in case we were to receive any concerns."
Pinkham said after learning about the Friday incident they spoke with the rec department, which has since decided not to allow such activity in the Pines in the future.
Pinkham said today the group encountered on Friday may not have even been part of the group that had approached the rec department for permission to use the Pines.