Off-Duty Officer Pulls Gun on Man Mistakenly Suspected of Stealing Mentos - NBC Southern California

Off-Duty Officer Pulls Gun on Man Mistakenly Suspected of Stealing Mentos

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Off-Duty Cop Pulls Gun on Man Buying Mentos

    An investigation is underway after an off-duty Buena Park officer pulled a gun on a man who he thought was stealing Mentos. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News at 11, Friday, May 4, 2018.

    (Published Monday, May 7, 2018)

    A man said he believes he was racially profiled by an off-duty officer who pulled a gun on him while checking out at a gas station mini mart in Orange County.

    He is disappointed and angry. He has seen videos on Facebook regarding police brutality, but he never thought it could happen to him.

    Video shows a shaken Jose Arreola inside the Beach Boulevard Chevron station in Buena Park.

    He said he stopped to buy mints. The man in line behind him in a black sweatshirt and black shorts says he's a police officer and pulls a gun on Arreola believing he was stealing the Mentos candy.

    But Arreola says he was getting his change back.

    "Get your cash and leave," the officer could be heard saying in the video before asking the cashier, "Did he pay for this?"

    "He did," the cashier says.

    "My apologies," says the officer.

    The Buena Park officer begins a brief mea culpa, his gun now back in his shorts pocket. A stunned Arreola leaves the gas station.

    In a statement released Friday night, Buena Park Police Chief Corey S. Sianez said the department is aware of the incident and immediately began an administrative investigation.

    The chief also said the man retained an attorney and also filed a formal complaint against the officer alleging misconduct.

    "I want you to know that after I watched the video I found it to be disturbing, as I'm sure it was to you," the chief said. "However, because there is an ongoing personnel investigation and potential litigation pending against the city, I am unable to discuss the details of our investigation."

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