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Man pulls 'gun' on inspector

A 39-year-old man allegedly pulled what authorities later discovered was a replica pistol on a Dickinson inspector over the weekend, authorities said Tuesday.

Melvin Zent had an appointment to inspect a house on Second Avenue Southeast Saturday morning. Resident Bryan Cooper allegedly threatened him, Dickinson Police Sgt. Dave Wilkie said.

"Cooper knew that he was there," Wilkie said. "When Mel Zent went to inspect the bedroom, Cooper came out of the bedroom with a pistol and told him he was going to shoot him if he didn't get out of the house."

Zent left, Wilkie said.

Members of the Southwest Tactical Team arrived and a negotiator contacted Cooper and convinced him to come out, Wilkie said. The SWTT team took him into custody and Cooper cooperated with authorities, Wilkie said.

"The gun was not real. It looks like a real gun, but it won't shoot," he said. "Cooper's defense is basically that he thought they left and when Zent knocked on the door he thought he was somebody else."

Though he is the Dickinson city inspector, he was performing a private inspection, Zent said. He declined further comment.

Cooper had been consuming alcohol, Wilkie said. He was charged with terrorizing and is out of jail on his personal recognizance, Wilkie said, adding he is not to have contact with Zent and must not consume alcohol.

A phone number for Cooper could not be located.