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Springfield man’s bassoon mistaken for a weapon by 911 caller

Published: Saturday, May 12, 2018 @ 12:40 PM

A 911 caller in April told police a man sitting on a car might have a weapon, but he was just playing a bassoon.

In April, 22-year-old Eric Barga arrived Covenant Presbyterian Church in Springfield waiting for a music practice to begin, but he was early.

He took out his bassoon, sat on his car and started playing.

THE TALE OF THE MISTAKEN BASSOON
Read more about Eric Barga’s maple instrument, the quirky 911 call and why the whole incident underlines a more serious point »

Springfield police received a 911 call shortly after with concerns there was a man sitting on his car with a weapon. Police responded cautiously but quickly learned there was no weapon, just a musical instrument.

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Although he felt slightly tense, “I didn’t really feel threatened,” Barga said, adding, “I don’t get nervous. Years of music school (performance) beats that out of you.”

Springfield police Chief Lee Graf said that although this incident was light-hearted, it’s a reminder that both citizens and police have a heightened awareness for the possibility of guns and violence.

“We always ask officers to kind of understand what people are going through, to kind of see the world through their lens. I would ask citizens to see the world through the officers’ lens, too,” he said.