WARWICK, R.I. — The Warwick Police SWAT team was called to 76 Janet Ct. at 7:35 p.m. Thursday night for a report of a man on his roof with what the caller said might have been an air rifle, coaxed him into his front yard, then tasered and arrested him when he refused to respond to their instructions to show his hands.
Police transported a subdued James Esty, 50, of 76 Janet Ct. to Kent County Memorial Hospital for psychological evaluation shortly after his arrest, said Warwick Police Lt. Thomas Snow.
Police received the report from a caller who said the Esty was walking on his roof with a flashlight and a rifle which may have been an air rifle, but resembled an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. The caller was unsure which, Snow said.
“It turned out to be an Airsoft rifle,” Snow said.
Members of the SWAT team called to Esty, asking him to leave the roof and talk to them. Officers also tried to call him on his phone, but the man wouldn’t answer. Esty paced through his house and flipped the lights on his porch on and off, Snow said, before finally walking out the front door on his own.
Officers called to Esty to show his hands, but he didn’t, and they used a taser to subdue him, Snow said.
Officers arrested Esty and transported him to Kent County Memorial Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. They have charged him with disorderly conduct and, after it was determined that he had fired a shot from his air rifle, they also charged him with a count of firing a weapon in a confined space.
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