Sue Moore/Townsquare Media

Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - Rochester police officers rushed to the Peace Plaza just before 3 a.m. Saturday after getting a report about a man with an assault rifle.

A Mayo Clinic security official spotted the man through a live surveillance camera and saw him get out of a vehicle in the Peace Plaza alley and walk to a dumpster.

Officers confronted the man and discovered the weapon was actually a replica airsoft gun. He told the officers he “ needed it for protection. “  

The officers confiscated the gun and a spokesman says the department will recommend charges against the 21 year old Rochester man.