Lesley Maurice Johnson III/Courtesy: Montgomery County Jail

Pink gun he says is a plastic toy turns out to be real; That claim lands him in jail

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Police arrested Lesley Maurice Johnson III, 52, Tuesday afternoon after he failed to adequately explain why he put a 9 mm pistol on a shelf at MJ’s Fish and Chips, on West Riverview Avenue and Paul Laurence Dunbar Street. 

According to a Dayton police incident report, police were dispatched to the store on a “signal 99” — officer in need of assistance — after a 9-1-1 call about a gunman in the store. 

Police walked in to see a MetroParks ranger speaking to the man witnesses said had the gun. Officers patted down that man, Johnson, who told them he placed a toy gun he bought on the street on a store shelf. 

Police found the weapon — a pink 9 mm semiautomatic pistol that had a live round in the chamber and seven live rounds in the magazine — where Johnson said he put it. 

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What they didn’t find was what they considered a truthful explanation from Johnson about the gun. He said after he bought the gun, he went to North Main Street to buy rims for his truck when another truck backed into his and fled. Johnson said he followed that truck and backed it into a corner near the store. Johnson said the driver ran to the store, where there were other people inside — all of whom had guns. 

Johnson, while relating his story, complained of pain as a result of the truck accident. Police took him to Grandview Medical Center before having him booked into the Montgomery County Jail. 

Early Thursday, he remained detained pending the filing of formal felony charges that include carrying a concealed weapon, improper handling of a firearm in public, tampering with evidence and having a weapon as a felon. He’s also accused of several misdemeanors including inducing panic, obstructing official business and resisting arrest. His bond is set at $52,500.

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