A man who bought a black-powder pistol and loaded it outside a gun store in Meridian was arrested Tuesday after taking a police officer's baton, officials say.
Vaughn Trevor Huff, 23, refused to talk to police about why he bought the pistol at the Sportsman's Warehouse and what he planned to do with it, said Tracy Basterrechea, deputy chief of the Meridian Police Department.
"It's not a very efficient gun if you're going to hold someone up," Basterrechea said. "Especially at a sporting store where you just bought it and they know it's not very efficient."
Huff had abandoned his car with the keys inside at a gas station about four hours before employees at Sportsman's Warehouse, 3797 E. Fairview Ave., called police about 10 a.m. after seeing him load his new gun just outside the front door, according to police.
Police believe he walked from the gas station to the store.
"It was probably about 1 degree when he was making that walk," Basterrechea said.
Police are baffled as to what motivated Huff.
"That's what we're trying to figure out - do we have a drug issue or do we have a mental stability issue?" Basterrechea said. "But he wouldn't talk to us at all."
Huff, who has no serious criminal history, was booked into the Ada County Jail on felony charges of assault on police and attempting to take a weapon from police, as well as a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a license.
Huff had the gun in his waistband when he attacked the officer, Basterrechea said.
Basterrechea said Huff is about 6-foot-5 and the officer is about 5-foot-10.
"He literally just came up and just started swinging" when the officer asked about the gun, Basterrechea said.
The officer grabbed him and threw him to the ground.
"The officer did a great job," Basterrechea said. "It was quite a day."
Black-powder pistols are replicas of antique weapons and not subjected to federal regulations for other firearms such as background checks.