(KMOV.com) -- A St. Louis man allegedly pulled a gun on officers during a traffic stop, but police used restraint after seeing a toddler sitting in the back seat of the car. Next to the toddler was a loaded AR-15 assault rifle.
The incident happened on Wednesday afternoon in the 1400 block of Union Blvd. The two St. Louis police officers were patrolling in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood when they spotted a car driving erratically.
“The driver had a loaded .45 in his hand, as the officers come from two different sides he points the gun at one of the officers,” said St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson.
The driver, Gregory Mills, 21, dropped his weapon after the officers pulled their guns and gave verbal commands to drop the weapon. During the brief stand-off with Mills, the officers spotted an AR-15 assault rifle next to the toddler in the back seat. Police say Mills struggled with the officers after dropping the gun, and officers used a stun gun to get him out of the car and in handcuffs.
Chief Sam Dotson says, according to police protocol, the officers could have used lethal force when the gun was pointed at them. News 4’s Cory Stark asked Dotson why those officers did not fire given the intensity of the situation.
“Certainly that infant there changed the dynamic, they were able to de-escalate the situation even after resisting and a use of a Taser,” said Dotson. “They took the subject into custody and got that child out of a dangerous situation.”
Police say the child is safe and the officers were not hurt. News 4 requested dash cam video of the incident, but a SLMPD spokesperson says at this point in their investigation they don’t know if video exist. The video would not be released to the public because it is an open case.
Mills has been charged unlawful use of a weapon, endangering the welfare of a child and resisting arrest. He is in jail on a $50,000 cash only bond.