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Armed police swoop on MP3-packing mechanic

4GB 'pistol' provokes Stoke-on-Trent kerfuffle

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An innocent Stoke-on-Trent garage mechanic enjoyed a spell in the cells after armed cops held him at gunpoint having mistaken his MP3 player for a pistol, the Daily Mail reports.

Darren Nixon, 28, was grooving to some tunes on his black 4GB Philips on his way to catch a bus on 26 January "when a woman thought she saw him carrying a handgun and called the police".

He recounted: "I walked to the bus station. Obviously I didn't know this at the time but someone saw my MP3 player in my pocket and mistook it for a gun. The police found me on CCTV and followed me. I got on the bus and the police followed. I was listening to my music so I didn't really notice all the cars behind the bus.

"I got off and started walking home. I saw this cop gesture at me and at first I couldn't hear what he was saying. I turned the music off and they were telling me to put my hands up in the air. As I got closer I could see that two of the cops had guns. There were two police dogs there as well. I was searched at the scene then hauled off to the station and interviewed.

"I was really shocked when I saw the guns. They were pointing them right at me. It was a pretty scary experience. I had no idea what was going on."

Nixon was fingerprinted, swabbed for DNA and had his mugshot taken before being released. He added: "I wasn't happy at all about it. I didn't even really get a proper apology from the police. They just dropped me off at home and said a quick 'sorry for any inconvenience', and that was all I got from them, which I thought was pretty out of order.

"It happened really near to where I live, so anyone could have seen me getting arrested - it's a stain on my character. It was unreal - I had a completely clean record before this and have always been a law-abiding citizen."

A spokesperson for Staffordshire Police offered: "We received a report from a member of the public who had seen a male in the area who had appeared to pull a hand gun from a jacket pocket, grip it with both hands and aim it towards something.

"An operation was put in place and a man matching the description was detained. No weapon was found on him at the time but he was taken into custody on suspicion while the surrounding area where he had been was searched. These searches proved negative, so the man was released and taken home, as no further action was required."

The spokescopper concluded: "The description was extremely good and if that's the report we get we have to act quickly." ®

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