- Hopefully this guy ends up getting some assistance. It seems he might need it.
Sometimes you get spooked by something and react in a completely bizarre way. We’ve all been there — maybe you’ve thrown your laptop out the window or even decked a significant other in the face by reflex.
But sometimes you hear about a case where the fight or flight response went completely overboard. So much so that you can’t help but wonder if there are some underlying issues.
Take, for example, the Washington man who got scared by a bursting soda can. He responded in the logical manner of opening fire on his refrigerator.
Police officers, who arrived at the scene, arrested the man since his handgun turned out to be illegal. And the story just gets weirder from here.
A Bang for a Bang
The series of strange events began on July 24. According to eyewitness reports, an unnamed man from Yakima, Washington, had been loading aluminum cans into his fridge.
Whether the cans contained beer, soda, or other kind of beverage, we don’t know. But the pressure inside one of them grew too much for the container to hold.
The can burst with a loud bang. The man responded by drawing his handgun from his waistband and firing a round through the bottom of the refrigerator.
He then ran outside, screaming about how someone had just tried to shoot him. Needless to say, his neighbors were concerned about the whole situation, including the supposed multiple gunshots, and called the police.
When the cops arrived at the scene on the 700 block of South Naches Avenue, they were probably prepared for a potential shootout. But they definitely weren’t prepared for what they found.
They found the man in question in an alleyway outside his house. According to the Yakima Police Department, he was “yelling incoherently.”
He had discarded his weapon, leaving the handgun lying in the middle of a nearby road. Considering his state of mind, that was probably for the best.
When the cops questioned the man about what was going on, they got a pretty imaginative account of the situation. The man told them that the people living in his basement wanted to kill him.
According to him, his downstairs neighbor had tried to shoot him. Therefore, he had resorted to self-defense and fired back at them.
The man’s story kind of fell flat when the cops tried to go talk to the basement residents. It turned out that there was nobody living in the man’s basement.
Then again, it would’ve pretty hard to live in there anyway. That’s because the man’s house had no basement whatsoever.
The cops quickly concluded that there had been no gunshots apart from the one the man fired off. They also figured out that the man had overreacted to one of the drink cans bursting.
By now, the police may have been suspicious about the man’s qualifications for owning a handgun. They asked him to prove his legal ownership of the weapon.
Only, he couldn’t do that. The man straight-up told the cops that he had found the gun two weeks earlier on the Greenway at North 16th Ave and Hwy 12 in Yakima.
At that point, it was time to bring out the handcuffs. The police arrested the man and booked him for second degree unlawful possession of a firearm, on top of unlawful discharge of a firearm.
All things considered, the whole incident ended pretty painlessly. The man didn’t manage to hurt himself or anyone else, and we haven’t found any reports of him trying to resist arrest, either.
The only victim ended up being his poor refrigerator. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to confirm whether the fridge is still in working order or whether it succumbed to its gunshot wounds.
Part of a Bigger Problem
This incident didn’t end up costing human lives, but that can’t be said for a lot of the other calls the Yakima Police Department has had to respond to. Unfortunately, Yakima seems to have a problem with gun-related crime.
We kind of figured that out from the guy just finding a random handgun lying around. But all jokes aside, the situation is pretty grim.
Yakima’s crime rate is 4.5 times above the national average, according to the NBC. Since 2010, there have been 113 murders in the city with a population of just over 90,000.
Out of those murders, 32 are gang-related. According to Yakima Police Chief Matthew Murray, there’s a house in the city that has had 17 drive-by shootings between July 2020 and February 2021.
To try and deal with the situation, the Yakima Police Department has launched the “Don’t Shoot” program. Among other measures, the program tries to crack down on gang activity by punishing all accountable members for shootings, instead of just the shooter.
Additionally, Yakima authorities will strive to offer alternative life paths to gang members.
“When people get involved in activity that can have tragic consequences, it’s important that they’re provided an offramp or an opportunity to step aside from that activity,” said Sarah Augustine, the executive director of the Dispute Resolution Center.
Here’s hoping the program works. We don’t need any more people or fridges getting shot.