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Gun Scare on MBTA Bus in Arlington Center

See what had passengers running for cover late Sunday afternoon.

A man carrying what appeared to be a handgun had passengers on an MBTA bus in Arlington Center yelling and running for cover late Sunday afternoon.

Six Arlington Police officers responded to the bus, which had been pulled over in front of Shanghai Village restaurant at 434 Massachusetts Ave., at about 4:29 p.m. for a report of a man with a gun. The man had exited the bus and walked away from the scene by the time police arrived, according to the police report.

After a short search, police located the suspect walking on Broadway, toward Somerville, and determined that the handgun-like object was actually a BB gun, specifically a Powerline Airstrike 240 (photo examples). The BB gun was loaded, and the man also had a canister of .24-caliber BBs and a container of 100 Winchester Super-X High Velocity .22 Long Rifle ammunition cartridges, police said.

Police arrested the suspect, John P. Hudson, 45, of Burlington, for disorderly conduct, for being in possession of ammunition without a proper license and on three active court warrants.

A female passenger on the bus first noticed Hudson with the aluminum gun. She told police that she was sitting diagonally behind him and that he was holding the gun on his lap in plain view and that he kept flicking the gun’s safety on and off. She said she thought the gun was real.

She then took a photograph of the man with the gun on her iPad and walked up to the driver to show him. The driver immediately pulled the bus over, and she exited the bus.

Several other passengers, who had also seen the man with the gun, began to yell and run off the bus, she said. The driver also got off and had a nearby restaurant employee call 911.

The suspect exited the bus as well. As a result, the woman said she ran down Massachusetts Avenue, toward East Arlington, and hid in bushes until he left the scene and police arrived.

The suspect turned left onto Franklin Street before going right on Broadway, according to the police report. He was wearing a black T-shirt and gray gym shorts and was wheeling a small suitcase as well. He was arrested without incident, police said.

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Notable Incidents on Sunday, Aug. 5

4:59 p.m., Medford Street, Larceny under $250

4:29 p.m., Massachusetts Avenue, Arrest, fugitive from justice on court warrant (see above)

4:22 p.m. Trowbridge Street, Bike larceny

6:53 a.m., Beacon Street, Malicious destruction of property over $250

Drew August 08, 2012 at 01:16 PM
Between all the daily home break-ins, the daily business robberies, the daily drug dealings in the streets and in the schools, I think it is time to pack up my family and move to a safer community, such as Lexington or Wellesley where there is far less crime.
Drew August 08, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Lily, you are correct about the BB gun being perfectly legal but to display it publicly on a city bus like he was doing was as clearly an intentional attempt on his part to cause mahem and a disturbance. Otherwise he would have kept it in his pocket where it belonged. Yes, the woman probably yelled "gun" and started the commotion but THAT is exactly what he wanted her to do because he was a known troublemaker with a police record including three outstanding court warrants and other stuff, which is also why he got arrested.
andrew james August 08, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Lily are you out of your mind.........with everything that's going on that woman was a hero......you are sticking up for some nut job and his rights and violations and the law while innocent people in movie theaters, churches and just minding their own business are being shot, killed and scared to death....grow up and see the world as it is today......what if this gun was real...and everyone was killed.........what if this was a practice run and you were on the next bus for the real deal.....think
Drew August 08, 2012 at 02:12 PM
Exactly Andrew..That woman did what anyone with good instincts would have done--a gun is a gun whether it was a toy or not and one must assume the worst, especially if it is displayed in public intentionally as this guy did for the sole purpose of creating a disturbance thinking if he got caught, he wouldn't get in trouble because it was a toy or whatever. He was a 45 year old loser.
csj565 August 08, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Apparently Lily doesn't ride the bus!!! I wonder does she leave her house ever. I also wonder if her extremist NRA talk would be as bold if she were sitting in a public place, beside the guy. And correct me if I'm wrong but the article indicated that the girl on the bus discreetly took a picture, showed the bus driver, then exited the bus. How the hell is that screaming "GUN" and causing a riot??? No question, he was the cause of public disorder. A bus full of people had to get off the bus!!! A major disruption in their day, the bus drivers day, the riders waiting for a bus, the people at ShangHai, anyone on the street while the search was going on, the count is endless Lily, seriously, wake up and smell the roses... or the gun powder, if you will.
Paul August 08, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Lilly's comments about the arrest were correct. Having said that, we all have to be constantly observing everyone around us for our own safety. If the guy with the gun was a true gun aficionado, he never would have handled it the way he did. I would have gotten off the bus immediately myself and called the town police. I'm surprised someone didn't call the guy with a gun a "White" man and assume he was of one particular political persuasion. He sounds like a problem in the making! Lilly, don't criticize others who were specific to this instance...no one I read on Patch was calling for gun control; just a bit of common sense in a world full of nutjobs.
Mickey G August 08, 2012 at 06:02 PM
What the heck happened to Arlington? Are you people for real?
andrew james August 08, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Lily.....I gotta believe a bus in Arlington is a long way from a hunting field in Penn..........sort of like a naked woman sitting next to you is different than one sitting by her private pool in her fenced in yard at her private estate.......but then again..maybe I only see evil in this world
Donald Mei August 08, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Paul is absolutely correct. Even if MA were an open carry state, the first rule of gun carrying is to keep your hands off the gun.
Donald Mei August 08, 2012 at 07:35 PM
No responsible gun owner would EVER carry a gun in the matter that this guy carried. I've carried guns out in public while hunting dozens of times. Again, the first rule is unload the gun and don't play with the thing. If he was in fact flicking the safety on and off, a breach of peace arrest is appropriate. The bogus weapons charges are another thing. But thank the geniuses in Boston for passing laws that make it a criminal offense to possess an empty shell casing without a permit. And frankly, if I was a cop called to this situation, I'd be really annoyed at the sheer stupidity of the guy. I'd probably also charge him with everything that I could. Don
Tim August 08, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Disorderly Conduct for carrying ammunition ? Please give me a break. We have had people in this town throwing booze filled parties where the police had probable cause to arrest the adult due to the beer pong table and beer . But didn't do a thing . This poor guy was just taking a bus to his friends house , keepIng the BB gun in plain sight so it isn't hidden and what does he get arrested . Why don't they get the drug dealers in town ??
BD August 09, 2012 at 12:57 AM
As a matter of fact, MA is an open carry state although most individuals who are licensed to carry choose to carry concealed.
Donald Mei August 09, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Tim, I think it is certainly disorderly conduct to play with a realistic looking facsimile firearm in your lap while on a public bus. Comeon.
Donald Mei August 10, 2012 at 02:01 AM
BD, MA does not have a law prohibiting open carry. However because of the suitability requirement, you have a LTC at the pleasure of the local issuing authority. In our case Chief Ryan, and if Chief Ryan doesn't like OCing and you do it, your LTC is gone. Chief Ryan is not a stupid man. The majority of Arlington residents are liberal anti-gun folks. If he decided to allow (and yes thats the power that the law gives him) people to OC, he'd be out of a job quickly.

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