Friday the 13th kept police busy with strange, back-to-back calls involving alleged threats to use a gun in a dispute.
Officers ended up arresting two men, but not for weapons misconduct.
The first call came in about 3:30 p.m. after a man reportedly brandished a handgun in the Walmart parking lot. An hour later, authorities got word that a man was holed up in his apartment with a shotgun.
Both calls appeared critical at first, with officers showing up with assault rifles at the second call, however, in the end, both cases ended up as minor misunderstandings.
At Walmart, shoppers became concerned when an argument broke out over a parking space.
Douglas Ryan Tenny, 27, had reportedly driven to Walmart after work and parked his pickup truck in a motorcycle-only parking space, said Payson Police Chief Don Engler.
Other shoppers in the area “made comments to him about parking his vehicle there and that made him mad, so there was an exchange of hollering, profanity, those types of things,” Engler said.
At some point, witnesses say they saw Tenny brandish a handgun. Tenny claims he never pointed the gun or threatened anyone with it, he was simply attaching the holster and gun to his belt.
It was “a strange time to be putting a holster on your belt when you’re in a confrontation with somebody,” Engler said.
Officers arrested Tenny on a charge of disorderly conduct.
While it is common to see people carrying guns strapped to their hips in town and it remains legal to do so, officers felt Tenny’s actions, profanity and conduct warranted the charge, Engler said.
It appears Tenny felt he had a right to park in the motorcycle only space, Engler said. “He didn’t feel that those signs apply to him I guess.”
An hour later, just north of Walmart at a Verizon Store, 714 N. Beeline Highway, officers got a call that another man had a gun.
This time, a caller reported Derringer Dade, 23, was holed up in his apartment above the business with a shotgun.
Several officers responded to the call. That included members of the SWAT team with their assault rifles, who circled the business but didn’t evacuate startled bystanders and business owners.
One phone call later, however, and officers realized the man did not have a gun.
Earlier in the day, the man had reportedly entered the Verizon store and told an employee that they were in danger and under surveillance by the Drug Enforcement Agency for white supremacy, Engler said.
When the employee talked to the property owner and several other people about the incident, they all confirmed Dade had been acting strangely.
At some point, someone said they thought the man may have had a shotgun in the apartment.
Concerned, the group decided to call for help.
Police originally believed the man was barricaded in the home, but when they arrived and asked him to come down, he did so without incident.
Furthermore, officers found no weapon in the home. Due to his bizarre behavior, officers took Dade to Southwest Behavioral Health for an evaluation. At 8 p.m., he was released and went home.
The following day, officers returned to Dade’s home and arrested him for domestic violence. Dade’s wife was reportedly preparing to leave the home with a friend when Dade got upset because she was taking his medication with her, Engler said.
Dade’s wife said she did not want to leave the medication with him because she feared he would hurt himself.
Dade allegedly grabbed the woman, who is nine months pregnant, and took the bag of prescription drugs back.
Dade is being held in jail on a $2,500 bond.
“We are working on getting him a mental health evaluation,” Engler said.