Altercation by straight couple triggered ‘panic’ at DC Pride Parade

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Cmdr. Guillermo Rivera speaks to reporters following the incident that caused the premature ending of the Capital Pride Parade on June 8, 2019. A police report indicates officers arrested Aftabjit Singh with possession of a BB gun and Melissa Duffy with assault on a police officer. (Washington Blade photo by Joey DiGuglielmo)

A gun scare in Dupont Circle Saturday night that brought D.C.’s annual Capital Pride Parade to an abrupt end and sent hundreds of parade spectators fleeing in panic appears to have been caused by a man who told police he pointed a BB gun at another individual who was assaulting his female “significant other,” according to a police report.

Both police and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released statements
shortly after the incident saying there was no evidence to indicate a gun was
fired. But police said at least seven people were hospitalized for minor
injuries sustained while running away from the scene, which witnesses described
as a “stampede.”

One of two
police reports related to the incident says police entered Dupont Circle about
7:20 p.m. Saturday after observing people fleeing in panic and witnesses told
one of the officers identified as Officer B. Maio that they saw a man with a
gun.

“While
canvassing the south side of the park, Officer Maio was flagged down by a
concerned citizen who pointed out Suspect 1 and stated he was the individual
that had a gun in his bag,” the report says. “The concerned citizen also indicated
a brown bag that was laying underneath a tree,” the report continues.

“Officer Maio
observed Suspect 1 approaching the bag and conducted a stop,” the report says.
“Upon observing the indicated bag, which was partially open, Officer Maio
observed what appeared to be the body and trigger of a silver handgun,” says
the report.

“Suspect 1 claimed he pulled out the gun on an unidentified individual who was hitting his significant other,” the report says, adding that Suspect 1 said the weapon was a BB gun.

D.C. police
spokesperson Brianna Jordan told the Washington Blade Suspect 1 has been
identified as Aftabjit Singh, 38, of no fixed address.

The report says
Singh was arrested on the scene in Dupont Circle and charged with three gun
related offenses, possession of a prohibited weapon, possession of a BB gun,
and Carrying a Dangerous Weapon (Outside Home or Place of Business). The report
says he was also charged with “Disorderly Conduct — Cause Unreasonable Fear.”

A separate
police report says officers arrested a second person in Dupont Circle a short
time later who identified herself as Singh’s “significant other” on a single
charge of Assault on A Police Officer-Simple Assault.

Police
spokesperson Jordan identified the second arrested person as Melissa Duffy, 43,
of no fixed address.

The police
report says officers made contact with Duffy, whom the report lists as Suspect
1, due to her significant other being arrested.

“Suspect 1
began to become irate and started to kick and scream towards officers,” the
report says. “Suspect 1 kicked Victim 1 in the chest and right arm causing the
listed injuries,” it says.

The report
doesn’t elaborate further on the injuries or identify the officer who was
injured other than to say, “all parties refused medical treatment.”

Jordan said
Singh and Duffy were expected to appear in court on Monday for an arraignment.
The reports say the two were taken to the Second District station after their
arrests for processing.

A spokesperson
for the Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes the annual Capital
Pride Parade and festival, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment about
the arrests. Capital Pride officials said on Saturday night that the annual
Capital Pride Festival and concert on Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol
took place as scheduled on Sunday.

The post Altercation by straight couple triggered ‘panic’ at DC Pride Parade appeared first on Washington Blade: Gay News, Politics, LGBT Rights.

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