A man is facing an inducing panic charge after a witness reported seeing him place a toy gun in his waistband while running near two Springfield businesses.
Charles Lee Smoot, 31, was arrested on Tuesday after officers found him following a call that indicated he was running near the Long John Silvers and Burger King restaurants on South Limestone Street, according to a Springfield police report.
Smoot pleaded not guilty in court Wednesday and is in Clark County Jail on $1,000 bond.
A witness told police that they saw Smoot running behind their vehicle near the Burger King and while running Smoot was reportedly seen putting the gun in his waistband as he ran toward Long John Silvers.
The witness called police, concerned that Smoot may have had intentions to rob one of the businesses or an individual.
When police responded they found Smoot sitting in a car in the Long John Silvers parking lot with the gun, that officers determined was a plastic toy gun, and he was taken into custody.
Smoot said he had the weapon “to get ready for the day when he had a real gun”.
Smoot was charged with inducing panic.