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Homeowners concerned by armed guards patrolling neighborhood on Halloween

Posted at 5:02 PM, Nov 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-04 22:04:28-05

Some people in Lansing's Westside neighborhood weren't happy to see armed guards on Halloween.

Five men with Top Breed Security Services which is a private security company in the city, were patrolling the neighborhood with loaded handguns, bulletproof vests, and a German Shepard.

The Lansing Police Department tells News 10 that a concerned neighbor called 911 when they saw the men.

Officers who went out to the scene said the group was not violating any laws and were being friendly. The men also had concealed pistol licenses.

Stephen Manchester has spent many Halloweens in the neighborhood, but hearing about the armed men was a first. "It's just outrageous if people are walking around armed to protect us. In 35 years, I've not seen a single incidence of anything dangerous or harmful. The kids don't even pull pranks," he said.

Eric Wilson, the owner of Top Breed Security Services said he just wanted to make sure the trick-or-treaters and their families were safe.

"I used to stay like 3, 4 blocks from there. I moved from over there like three years ago and you do hear gunshots, break-ins and stuff like that," Wilson said.

He said someone even sent him a screenshot of a map showing where convicted sex offenders live in the area.

"No was loading weapons. They just exaggerated it and made a bigger deal than what it was and we were terrifying kids and kids were scared of us. No," Wilson said.

Some homeowners did not want to appear on camera, but did say that if the guards got permission from police, then the incident is not a big deal. They added that in this day and age, some extra protection around the neighborhood isn't a bad thing.

Still, Manchester said their presence was unnecessary. "It's like war mongering. It's making up an issue that doesn't exist."

Wilson said he believes there may have been a racial component to some of the complaints. He said this incident hasn't deterred him from patrolling neighborhoods on Halloween in the future.