A 21-year-old Lewiston man who allegedly pointed a handgun at a group of bystanders outside an Old Port pizzeria early Friday morning faces multiple weapons charges.

Tyreek Unique Rankins Photo courtesy of Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office

Tyreek Unique Rankins faces three counts of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and one count of making a threatening display of a firearm, police said. The reckless conduct charges were elevated to Class C felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, because of the involvement of the firearm.

The incident was reported by an armed security guard working for a private company, who was on patrol in a marked vehicle when he saw Rankins pointing a handgun at people on the sidewalk outside Mark’s Place at 416 Fore St., Portland police said.

The security guard called police around 1:20 a.m., but did not engage with Rankins or try to intervene. Rankins then drove off in a black BMW, but responding officers found the vehicle parked and unoccupied on Union Street near Middle Street. Rankins was found by officers a short time later on Fore Street and taken into custody without incident.

Rankins was held on $20,000 cash bail in the Cumberland County Jail.

Police impounded Rankins’ vehicle and were granted a search warrant Friday to look for the firearm, said Portland police Lt. Robert Martin.

Martin said Rankins pointed the weapon at many people on the street, but it was unclear what caused the confrontation. Rankins was charged with the three counts because three people he allegedly pointed the weapon at, and who were unrelated to the altercation that led to the incident, came forward to make statements, Martin said.

“People were saying it had a laser dot and it was painting on multiple people,” Martin said. No one was injured, and police lauded the armed security guard for exercising restraint and discretion.

“I think some people might be critical of the security guard,” Martin said. “He was armed and in a marked vehicle. If he got out and tried to intercede, it would have been an armed altercation on Fore Street, which could have been disastrous if Tyreek didn’t submit. We’re applauding his restraint. It could have been a deadly situation had it gone some other way.”

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