Off-Duty Cop Sees Man Pocket Candy, Pulls Gun

California man had already paid for Mentos
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 7, 2018 3:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police in Orange County, Calif., say they are investigating a "disturbing" video in which an off-duty cop pulls a gun on a man he wrongly suspects of stealing candy at a service station. Jose Arreola, 49, tells the Orange County Register that he was badly shaken by the incident at a Buena Park Chevron station. In the video, Arreola can be seen putting a pack of Mentos on the counter and handing the clerk $20. When he pockets the candy while waiting for his change, the man behind him pulls a gun, declares he is a police officer, and orders Arreola to put the pack back on the counter. After ordering Arreola to leave, the officer finally asks the clerk if the man paid. "My apologies," the officer then says to Arreola.

The video shows the officer, who had his gun out for around eight seconds, chambering a round after he draws his pistol. Arreola, who says he feared he was going to die over a $1.19 pack of candy, has hired an attorney and is seeking damages from the Buena Park police department, reports the Washington Post. "It's been a month and I still can’t shake it," he says. "It was traumatic, the whole incident." In a statement, Buena Park police chief Corey Sianez said the department began investigating the incident as soon as it became aware of it. He said the "investigation will be thorough and if the officer is found to be in violation of any policies and procedures, he will be held accountable."

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