Information for this story was provided in a press release by Det. Tim Cassidy.
A scary situation unfolded at the Swampscott Police Station after an armed man walked in at 5 a.m. today.
In the end, police arrested Florenzo Lecce, 19, 317 Paradise Road, Swampscott. But not before some tense moments and potential danger.
The incident started when Officer Steve Luck was working the station desk with Lt. John Behen and asked the man if he could help him, said Swampscott Det. Tim Cassidy.
The man asked Officer Luck if he was alone, and the officer responded: “No, I am not, why?”
The man then told officer Luck that he needed to speak to officers in the parking lot.
Lt. Behen radioed Swampscott units to come to the station.
Officer Luck then observed the male party walk into the police parking lot.
The officer grabbed a flashlight and went out and asked the man what he was doing. He did not respond.
Officer Luck again asked him what he was doing, and the man turned around but did not say anything.
He had a silver handgun stuck in his pants' belt, and he was tapping on the gun.
Officer Luck radioed for police units to hurry, telling them the man had a firearm. Lt. Behen contacted state police to activate a negotiator. Lynn and Marblehead police were notified of the incident.
Officer Luck drew his weapon and ordered the male party to drop his weapon, but the man continued to tap the gun.
Officers Kevin Reen, Todd Pierce and Matt MacDonald and Lt. Behen took cover in the parking lot while talking to the man.
All officers had their weapons drawn. The male party asked officers during the encounter what they would do if “he pulls this out right now” referring to his gun. The officers were able to talk to him for several minutes, eventually closing ranks and then taking him to the ground and placing him under arrest.
Once under arrest police learned that the gun was a toy gun and that the man also had a knife on him.
Taken into the station, the man was identified as Florenzo Lecce, 19, 317 Paradise Road in Swampscott.
He asked the officers “why they didn’t shoot him."
He was taken to Union Hospital for evaluation and is charged with disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon, to wit a hand gun, possession of a knife, and threats to commit a crime, police said.
"The officers involved in this unfortunate incident should be commended for their bravery, and for showing extreme restraint in dealing with this incident," Det. Cassidy said.
He went on to say that, in a twist of irony, "officers working the midnight shift two nights ago were discussing situations like this and were watching a video of a shootout at a Detroit Police station several years ago where a man walked into the station and opened fire on the officers."
The suspect in that incident was killed, he said.