Mack Worley, an Air Force veteran, was arrested on June 28 while legally carrying an AR-15 assault weapon in public in Vancouver, Wash.
The official charge is “trespassing with a weapon capable of producing bodily harm,” which Worley pleaded not guilty to on July 3.
The incident began when Worley open carried his rifle while buying a soda at a local restaurant, where a security guard called 911 after parents grabbed their children and fled in a panic.
The security guard claims he told Worley to leave, and called police when he didn’t.
When police arrived, Worley had walkedto a fireworks stand in a parking lot, but employees closed the stand because the vet was peacefully carrying his rifle.
When Worley tried to walk back to his car on a public sidewalk, he saw a police officer sitting in his cruiser. That's when Worley started recording the incident on his cell phone (video below).
“As I started walking to them, I hear on a loudspeaker to my left a police officer telling me to put my hands up,” Worley told Examiner.com.
Seconds later, he noticed several other police officers had their guns aimed at him.
Worley dropped his weapon as ordered by police, but refused to stop filming with his cell phone when told to.
“I asked the officer if was being detained, he said, No,'" recalled Worley. "I asked him if I had broken any laws, he said, 'No.' I asked him if he suspected me of committing a crime, he said, 'No.'"
The officers claimed that they needed to “check his firearm to make sure it wasn’t stolen,” but ended up removing all of the ammunition from his gun and tossing it on some nearby grass.
While he was being detained, one police officer told Worley not to talk.
Worley was then lectured about causing public commotion by a police officer, who eventually let the veteran go.
However, after Worley picked up his gun and bullets, a police officer told him he could not walk a certain direction down a public sidewalk, so Worley tried to return to his car, which was apparently parked on private property.
Police officers told him not to walk to his vehicle, so Worley began walking the opposite direction.
Suddenly, the officers swarmed Worley, again with guns drawn, and arrested him.
One police officer grabbed Worley's cell phone shortly after the arrest and the video stops.
Worley told Examiner.com that after he was taken to a police station, he was asked to take a breathalyzer test even though there was no indication of him being drunk.
Worley refused to do, and claims that he was denied a phone call, his right to speak to a lawyer, water and his asthma inhaler.
He was later bailed out by his wife after a nearly five hour prison stay.
“I was breaking no law and I was arrested for trespassing on a public sidewalk,” Worley told KATU. “Whether or not you agree with open carry of a firearm or not, it’s not illegal.”
“If the public is afraid, that’s not my fault. I don’t control their point of view,” added Worley. “In fact, I welcome it. I welcome and encourage a debate on the subject. I am not responsible for their fear.”
Worley has set up a legal defense fund on his website and plans to file a civil suit against the police department.