A man was arrested at gunpoint after his MP3 player was mistaken for a gun.
Mechanic Darren Nixon, 28, was on a bus when he was tailed by three police cars before being confronted in the street, yards from his home in Stoke-on-Trent.
A member of the public had seen Mr Nixon change tracks on his MP3 player, thinking it was a gun, and told police who tracked him on CCTV.
No weapon was found but the description was "extremely good" and police had to act quickly, a spokesman said.
Mr Nixon said he had no idea three police cars were following the bus during the incident on 26 January.
He said: "Even when I got off the bus I didn't realise the police were pointing guns and telling me to stop, because I still had my earphones in and I wasn't looking.
"It was only when I saw the traffic slowing down and people watching me that I turned and saw four cops with dogs and semi-automatics.
"That was when I took my earphones out and they were shouting at me not to make any sudden movements.
"I dread to think what might have happened if I'd put my hand in my pocket."
DNA on system
Mr Nixon, who has no previous convictions, said he was in custody for about an hour and had his DNA and fingerprints taken.
He said: "I think it's bad that they have my DNA on their system now and a record that I was arrested on suspicion of having a firearm, when all I was doing was listening to music."
A spokeswoman for Staffordshire Police said: "We received a report from a member of the public who had seen a male in the area who had appeared to pull a hand gun from a jacket pocket, grip it with both hands and aim it towards something."
She said a man matching the description was detained but no weapon was found on him.
"Searches (of the area where he had been) proved negative, so the man was released and taken home, as no further action was required.
"The description was extremely good and if that's the report we get we have to act quickly."