WARSAW — Barry Mancuso, of the South Bend/Mishawaka area, was in Warsaw visiting his sister, Thursday, May 19. They were walking around the courthouse lawn when he was stopped by 12 local law enforcement officers.
Mancuso decided to visit his sister, who lives in Warsaw, so he began making preparations. Those preparations included a call to the Warsaw’s law enforcement agencies because Mancuso tended to carry a .22 caliber rifle strapped to his back and secured.
Mancuso told Ink Free News he and his sister wanted to walk through Central Park, but there were children there. He believed the school had rented the park, which then made it a private event, one that he, and his firearm, couldn’t attend. “If the school is renting it out, I can’t go near it. That’s one of the reasons we were walking around the courthouse.”
Open carry is legal in the state of Indiana and Mancuso feels his rights were violated. He stated he had called local dispatch and told them he was going to be open carrying a firearm, but when people called and complained about his gun he said, “There should have been questions asked that dispatch sent out [to the officers]. He feels he shouldn’t have been stopped, detained nor forced to show his identification and permit.
Mancuso stated the firearm was on his back, his hands were not near it and the officers should never have stopped him. Mancuso stated, “I should be free, this is not Russia. We are not a police state.” He stated he should have just said, “Am I being detained or not detained?” Then walked away.
After showing his ID and gun permit, Mancuso was allowed to leave, but said he was followed to his vehicle by one of the plain-clothed officers present.
Mancuso said he’s been walking around the South Bend area wearing his rifle with no hassle. He and the police chief have an agreement that he would call whenever he was going on a walkabout.
Mancuso told IFN he and some of his friends are considering doing a “fully armed” walkthrough of Warsaw, handing out pamphlets to educate people on their Second Amendment rights.
IFN reached out to local law enforcement regarding the incident, but were told there wasn’t anything to report.