A Boston man is facing multiple gun charges after he brandished a firearm at another parent during an altercation at a youth basketball tournament in Westford, Massachusetts, over the weekend.
Jose A. Mow, 34, of Boston, is charged with carrying a firearm without a license, possession of ammunition, improper storage of a firearm, assault with a dangerous weapon, disturbance of a public assembly and operating a vehicle after revocation of a license, Westford police said.
His bail was set at $1,000 and later revoked on an open case out of Boston. He is scheduled to return to court on June 6.
The Middlesex District Attorney's Office said Westford police arrested Mow after responding to The Mill Works facility on Town Farm Road around 3 p.m. Sunday for a report of a disturbance and a man with a gun.
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Upon arrival, witnesses told police that the man who had brandished the gun had fled the scene. Officers were subsequently able to locate the suspect vehicle, which was being driven by Mow.
The district attorney's office said further investigation revealed that Mow was attending a basketball tournament at the facility where his son was playing when he got into an altercation with a parent from an opposing team. At some point during the altercation, Mow allegedly brandished a handgun to the other parent, a 48-year-old New York man.
As a result of the altercation, attendees fled the facility. Video posted on social media showed people running from the courts in a panic.
"All we heard was 'Gun, gun gun!,'" one parent who was there told NBC10 Boston.
Westford police said no shots were fired, but one parent said on Facebook that it was "more than a disturbance," with some children crying and afraid for their lives.
"One of the scariest moments of my life," another parent said. "Not knowing where my son went, people screaming and running."
The district attorney's office said investigators have been able to review some video and are still investigating what led to the altercation. Anyone with video or who was present and hasn't spoken with police yet is urged to call 978-692-2161.
The tournament being held at The Mill Works on Sunday was the Marquee Hoops Spring Circuit. Boys in grades 5 through 8 were playing from New England and beyond.
“This was a frightening and potentially dangerous situation that has no place in youth sports,” Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said in a statement. “We have put a focus in Middlesex County on building a culture of safe and respectful behavior on the sidelines at these types of events and that is not what occurred yesterday. These types of altercations among adults are unacceptable and can have lasting impacts on our young people.”
Westford Police Chief Mark Chambers thanked the witnesses who came forward, leading to the quick arrest and seizure of the firearm, adding that "we are extremely fortunate that there were no serious injuries as a result of this incident."