RANKIN CO., Miss. (WLBT) - A bizarre video near the Reservoir in Rankin County shows a man repeatedly pointing a gun at drivers near the Spillway, before reholstering his weapon.
The Rankin County couple who shot the video Friday, April 10, claims the man used to live in the area of Church Road but is now homeless and in desperate need of mental help.
“He was pointing guns at cars!” John Bryant exclaimed.
“It was like he was in Gunsmoke,” John’s wife, Stephanie Bryant said, which is a 1970′s western TV show about preventing lawlessness.
The Rankin County Sheriff’s Department said they are aware of the incident.
Deputies said they responded to the incident Saturday, April 11, and arrested 43-year-old Richard Earl Brown for public intoxication and disorderly conduct.
But Stephanie Bryant claims Richard Earl Brown isn’t just pointing his weapon.
“Sometimes he shoots that gun!” she exclaimed.
Neighbors also claim Brown sometimes yells and curses at night which is why people in the area fear what could happen next.
“Other neighbors got their pistols out and said if he makes the wrong move, we’re taking him out,” John Bryant said. “Somebody has to do something,” Stephanie added.
The county says Brown lives on Church Road, but the couple claims Brown has no real home.
“We believe he’s living in an abandoned property with a shed near an empty, abandoned mobile home,” Stephanie said. “He used to be married to a relative of my husband and I know he has a sister, but Friday was too much and it’s just at the point where he has to go.”
The couple says Brown was so drunk when deputies arrested him that they had to wait until he became sober the next day to book him.
Rankin County Sheriff’s Dept. legal counsel Paul Holley said they were unable to make an arrest Friday because they could not locate a gun.
When they went back Saturday, they arrested Brown and confiscated the gun.
“It was a 25 caliber. And there was no registered owner on the gun,” Holley said.
RCSO will step up patrols in the area to hopefully catch Brown in the act, but Holley said there’s only so much deputies can do.
“We need these individuals to come come forward and sign charges on these individuals so that the court system can work its way and then we can get involved in that,” Holley said. “Unless we observed it on a misdemeanor, we’re not going to be able to do anything.”
Holley said he’s not aware of Brown having any mental issues, but could not comment on that regardless because of HIPAA.
“Due to the nature of some of the events that we’ve we’ve seen and that have been reported, you know, we would like to see about the possibility of having have him get a mental assessment, whenever he comes back for his court appearance,” Holley said.
Brown had previous charges for contempt, but it’s not clear what that stemmed from because the charges were more than ten years old.
“I just want him to get help before he hurts himself or someone else,” Stephanie Bryant said.