Even guns made of Lego can look real
It turns out Bell was putting the finishing touches on a handgun made entirely of black Lego bricks.
After showing his creation to a co-worker, Bell put the toy away. But the neighbour had already sounded the alarm, and a short time later the Emergency Task Force arrived with weapons drawn.
Bell was thrown up against the wall and slapped with handcuffs. After a quick investigation, police set him free.
The 29-year-old Bell says he's a lifelong fan of Lego and that won't change. And there's no bad blood with the neighbour, either, who tweeted an apology to Bell and posted a note in his apartment window.
"He's like, 'Sorry, dude, it looked real,'" Bell says.
The cops told Bell, "Hey, at least you got a good story."
But officers everywhere continue to be concerned about the potential impact of realistic guns. In fact, police in the UK this week warned parents against buying their children plastic guns for Christmas in case the toys are mistaken for the real thing.
Earlier this year, Marketplace took an in depth look at imitation handguns and the threat they pose to the safety - and perception of safety - in our communities.
You can watch our story, The Trouble with Fake Guns, here.