Panic at DC pride parade sends people running, some injured

Clay Curtis
June 12, 2019

Hundreds of people were gathered at the Dupont Circle in Washington DC for the parade when people started running after hearing what they thought was a gunshot.

Singh has been charged with the illegal possession of a BB gun, carrying a risky weapon and disorderly conduct. Singh was stopped as he approached a brown paper bag containing a silver-colored imitation pistol, police said. The parade ended early after the incident.

Singh claimed "he pulled out the gun on an unidentified individual who was hitting his significant other", the police said.

As the officers got closer, someone in the crowd pointed to Singh and said he had a gun in his bag.

Dustin Sternbeck, a police spokesman, said a gun was recovered by police in a backpack, but added no gunshots were fired and no-one was shot. The report says he was also charged with "Disorderly Conduct - Cause Unreasonable Fear".

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Officers arrested a second person - Melissa Duffy, 43, - who identified herself as Singh's "significant other" on a single charge of "Assault on A Police Officer-Simple Assault", Washington Blade news reported.

Mayor Muriel Bowser, in a statement posted on Twitter, confirmed that no shots were fired and said fire department personnel were "on the scene to treat minor injuries / due to reports of a shooting".

A spokesperson for the Capital Pride Alliance, the group that organizes the annual Capital Pride Parade and festival, couldn't immediately be reached for comment about the arrests.

The man, named in United States media as Aftabjit Singh, allegedly sent the crowd running through the streets of Washington, DC, on Saturday after wielding what appeared to be a gun. One city official told the paper that five people suffered injuries consistent with fleeing from a scene. "I will be back", he said according to police report.

After the chaos, Capital Pride tweeted that the parade was over but a block party would go on as scheduled.

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