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Boston police arrest man who allegedly pulled gun on bank customers after dispute over social distancing

Boston Police recovered this loaded Bersa .380 semi-automatic firearm after a man allegedly pointed it at a line of people outside a Dorchester bank Tuesday afternoon.Boston Police Department

A dispute over social distancing rules among customers at a Citizens Bank branch in Dorchester ended with one man in custody on illegal gun charges when he allegedly refused to keep his distance and then pulled the gun on people standing in line, Boston police said.

The incident played out at the branch at 569 Washington St. around 12:38 p.m. Tuesday, police wrote on bpdnews.com.

Customers "were in line outside the bank when a verbal altercation bubbled up between another customer in line who refused to adhere to the recommended social distancing protocols,'' police wrote. "When asked to move away, the male suspect refusing to practice social distancing and adhere to the line restrictions, brandished a firearm and pointed it in the direction of the victims. "


Multiple customers called 911 and as officers arrived, the man and a woman with him jumped into a car and drove off, police said. Officers who had flooded into the neighborhood spotted a car matching the description of the vehicle near 94 Whitfield St. in Dorchester, police said.

Both the man and the woman were ordered out of the vehicle. “After the occupants were removed from the car, a search of the vehicle enabled officers to see and seize a loaded Bersa .380 semi-automatic firearm,” police said.

The suspect was identified as 40-year-old Ricardio Pantojas of Boston. He is facing multiple charges, including illegal possession of a firearm and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

John R. Ellement can be reached at john.ellement@globe.com. Follow him @JREbosglobe.