Idryiss Thomas was taken into custody Sunday following several 911 calls from neighbors, reporting a man with a gun.
Authorities arrived on Redwood Court and demanded he drop his weapon.
Thomas's family says they screamed at police that it was just a toy but officers took him down and arrested him.
Thomas was taken to the Salem County Jail and charged with Unlawful Possession of a Weapon and Disorderly Conduct.
His family posted the $2,500 bail for him.
After being released, Thomas spoke with Action News.
"I didn't realize that what I had in my hand would cause the events that happened today. I had the air soft gun in my hand, playing with it, taking shots at a rubber ducky - not harming anybody. The officers approached me, did not warn me about anything," said Thomas.
Action News contacted Glassboro police for comment but they declined, citing an ongoing investigation.
In New Jersey, air soft pistols are considered a weapon and you must have a permit to carry one.
Thomas's aunt tells Action News that she bought the air soft pistol because it looked real and would be good for protection.