Casper Police Arrest Man for Aggravated Assault, Robbery
Casper police on Friday arrested a man after he allegedly used a handgun to threaten a group of teens and fired one shot past a 16-year-old's head.
Michael W. Mclaughlin, 24, was booked into jail on recommended charges of aggravated robbery, unlawful use of a firearm during the commission of a felony and two counts of aggravated assault.
Court documents say Casper police officers and deputies of the Natrona County Sheriff's Office responded to a home in the 3000 block of Cotton Creek Place for a report that Mclaughlin had aimed a gun at a 16-year-old and fired a single shot.
The three teenagers, in separate police interviews, told investigators that they had been walking in a neighborhood off Robertson Road when they heard what they believed to be firecrackers.
The group knew that a friend's brother liked to play with fireworks, so one teen called out to Mclaughlin, believing that Mclaughlin was a friend.
Mclaughlin allegedly walked toward the teens and asked, "What did you say to me?" The teen who had called out explained the misunderstanding.
Mclaughlin then produced a small pistol -- later identified as a .22 magnum -- and said, "That's no firecracker." The teens noticed that Mclaughlin was "all shaky," as though "he was on something," according to the affidavit.
Mclaughlin went on about the gun, which the teens described variously as silver with wood on the grip. One teen told police that they felt pressured to stay and talk.
Mclaughlin asked the teens if they knew what day it was, and later said, "Four-twenty, know where I can buy any weed?" He allegedly asked if they knew anyone who would trade an ounce of marijuana for the gun.
One of the teens received a phone call from his father, so he and another teen stepped away. As they walked away, the third teen was left alone with Mclaughlin.
Mclaughlin allegedly pocketed the gun, then pulled it back out and pointed it at the teen's head, telling the boy to empty his pockets. The teen showed Mclaughlin that his pockets were empty.
"Back where I come from in Memphis, Tennessee, they do this," Mclaughlin allegedly told the boy. He then took a step back and fired one shot, with the bullet allegedly flying past the boy's right ear.
"Oh, it looks like you got lucky," Mclaughlin allegedly said. Mclaughlin then allegedly asked about buying marijuana and continued to talk about Tennessee. Mclaughlin dropped several rounds on the ground and reached in his pocket for more ammunition, telling the teen that he lived in a house with a pink flamingo and showing the teen a tattoo on his chest.
The other two teens returned to the scene, and Mclaughlin allegedly pressed the muzzle of the gun against another teen's chest. Mclaughlin told the teens his address, so they could deliver marijuana to him. The teens told police that they pretended to know where to obtain marijuana so that Mclaughlin would let shoot at them again.
Eventually the teens were able to leave and report the incident to authorities.
Mclaughlin was arrested, and police took possession of a .22 magnum handgun as well as additional ammunition. Three .22 magnum cartridges obtained from the gun had strike marks, evidently having misfired.
Mclaughlin's blood-alcohol content was .166 at the time of his arrest. He told police that he had moved to Casper from Memphis in order to be with his child and ex-girlfriend.
According to the affidavit, Mclaughlin said he ran from Memphis to avoid charges for attempted drug delivery. He believed he was wanted for failing to appear in court.
Mclaughlin would not admit to firing the gun next to the teen's head, though several of the things he told investigators were similar to what the teens had reported.