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Lawyer criticizes Montreal police for intercepting 11-year-old boy at gunpoint

Elias Pyrros is still in shock after his recent run-in with police. The 11-year-old boy was playing with a toy gun when someone spotted him and called 911.
Elias Pyrros is still in shock after his recent run-in with police. The 11-year-old boy was playing with a toy gun when someone spotted him and called 911. Global News

Elias Pyrros may be suffering from post traumatic stress after his recent run-in with Montreal police.

The 11-year-old is distraught and doesn’t understand why officers intercepted him at gun point when he was playing outside with a plastic pistol.

“The way they were pointing the guns at me, I was really terrified,” said Pyrros.

After seeing the story, criminal defence attorney Eric Sutton says he understands why police responded in full force at first. What he doesn’t understand is why police continued their operation even after knowing it was just a toy.

“Once they determined that, they should have proceeded with great dispatch to release him, explain maybe the risks perhaps even apologize for the trauma he must have felt but to then handcuff him and detain him is indefensible,” said Sutton.

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After initially promising to give their version of events on the incident, Montreal police cancelled the interview. Over the phone, Commander Ian Lafrenière said the boy was put in the police car that day because it was cold outside. He also mentioned that the woman who called 911 was convinced it was a gun.

Some people in the neighbourhood aren’t surprised by the officers’ actions.

“I stay away from the cops here, they scare me. Cops are supposed to enforce social order, but I kind of feel like they make things worse sometimes,” said Welland Jowett.

Others believe that kind of police interception is to be expected under the circumstances.

“We have to take it seriously with the gun problem,” said Siao Lu who refuses to let his three children to play with plastic guns.

Sutton says the moral of this story may be to think twice before taking toy guns outside.

“We know that there have been serious crimes committed with real firearms by minors, so I guess the message should be, be very wary of where you are, who may be watching when you chose to go outside with a plastic firearm,” said Sutton.

Pyrros admits he had altered the toy with black tape, but insists he will never leave the house with anything that resembles a weapon.

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“I’m going to throw them away actually,” said Pyrros. “I’m scared it’s going to happen again.”