PIKE COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) — Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader says he used his thumb to prevent a flare gun from firing during an arrest Thursday night.
Reader said he and his deputies were assisting the county’s probation officers in serving an arrest warrant when they came across 34-year-old Willis Boshier of Waverly. Bowshier was wanted on multiple felony warrants.
Reader said Bowshier took off running from deputies.
During the chase, Reader said Bowshier brandished a knife. A deputy used less-than-lethal force to get him to drop the knife. Bowshier then pulled out what appeared to be a gun and started screaming, ‘Shoot me! Shoot me!’ Reader said.
The gun was later determined to be a flare gun that was painted black. It was loaded with a 12-gauge shotgun shell.
Deputies used a Taser on Bowshier, and tackled him into a nearby ditch.
Reader said Bowshier had cocked the hammer and prepared to fire. Reader said he was able to slide his thumb between the hammer and firing pin, preventing it from firing.
“This man is very lucky my deputies used their non-lethal training to subdue him,” said the Sheriff. “During the scuffle, we thought this was an actual gun. It was not until after he was in custody and the scene was processed that we confirmed it was a flare gun with a deadly shotgun shell.”
The sheriff said Bowshier was treated for injuries and released from the hospital. He is facing several felony charges from this incident. He was booked into the Butler County Jail.