Good guy with a gun......

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5/7/2018 7:43 PM

Who would it have been in this actual incident? If the guy who had actually purchased the $1.19 roll of Mentos pulled out a gun and began defending himself against the guy who pulled a gun on him, would he have been justified?

Orange County Register

Video shows off-duty officer pulling gun on man mistakenly suspected of stealing Mentos

By TONY SAAVEDRA | | Orange County Register

PUBLISHED: May 4, 2018 at 2:19 pm | UPDATED: May 7, 2018 at 12:06 pm

One minute, Jose Arreola was buying a pack of Mentos at an Orange County service station.

The next minute, he was at the business end of a gun drawn by an off-duty Buena Park police officer who thought Arreola had stolen the $1.19 roll of mints.

The 49-year-old printer from Bellflower says he was both scared and angry that the officer had pulled a gun March 16 on someone he wrongly suspected of stealing candy.

“It’s been a month and I still can’t shake it,” Arreola said. “It was traumatic, the whole incident. (And) I grew up in Santa Ana. I’ve been shot at before.”

Buena Park Sgt. Mike Lovchik declined to comment on the incident, saying an internal investigation is underway.

Police shootings have become a hot-button issue in cities across the United States, where 370 people have been shot and killed by officers so far this year, according to a database compiled by the Washington Post. The data show that the slain are typically armed.

The shootings have amplified the question, when is it appropriate for a police officer to draw a gun?

Joe Domanick, associate director of the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College, said the Buena Park officer was “way out of policy, even for Orange County.”

“It’s astounding there would be a police officer who would think it’s OK to do it,” said Domanick, author of the book “Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American Policing.” “(It’s) entirely opposite of what’s going on in police departments. You pull a gun as a last resort.”

He continued: “It shows the officer has been poorly trained or not trained at all or he’s totally unsuited to be a police officer.”

Arreola, who wears his hair short but has a long goatee, can be seen in a store security video placing the candy on the counter and handing the clerk a $20 bill from the $60 he got from the ATM.

While waiting for his change, Arreola pockets the candy. Immediately, a man in black shorts standing behind him in line pulls a gun from the pocket of his black hoody, announces he is a police officer and tells Arreola to put the Mentos back on the counter.

Arreola throws his hands up and protests that he paid for the mints. The officer can be heard telling Arreola to take his change and leave, minus the Mentos. Finally, the officer asks the cashier if Arreola paid for the mints.

Yes, says the cashier.

“Are you sure?” the officer asks.

Again, the cashier says yes.

“My apologies,” the officer tells a visibly shaken Arreola.

Sorry isn’t enough, Arreola said in an interview. He has retained an attorney and requested financial damages from the Buena Park department.

“Are you seriously pulling a gun out over a pack of Mentos?” he asks.


5/7/2018 7:55 PM

The officer didn't shoot him... so... progress?


5/7/2018 8:09 PM

$1.19 pretty good deal on a whole roll of Mentos mints.


5/7/2018 8:21 PM

akillerwombat wrote:

The officer didn't shoot him... so... progress?

if your a glass half full kind of guy you would have to say that it is an improvement,


5/7/2018 8:28 PM
Edited Date/Time: 5/7/2018 8:31 PM


5/7/2018 10:17 PM

I am all for officers doing what is needed to protect themselves and the public. But this here is ridiculous. ANY shoplifting should not warrant a weapon being pulled out. Armed robbery yes....misdemeanor shoplifting no. I hope the guy is fired and not allowed back on the force


5/8/2018 2:42 AM

1.19 for mentos !!?? Thats the real crime here.


5/8/2018 9:00 AM

on a side note, what ever happened to the old Mentos commercials? i thought they were awesome


5/8/2018 10:40 AM

Charge and prosecute this asshole under whatever legal statute covers this. He should go to jail for that.


It's impossible for a corporation or government to love you or care about you.

5/8/2018 9:12 PM

And it's always the departments (city, tax payers) fault for "poor training"? Not just the fact that some of these guys are just assholes!


5/8/2018 9:21 PM

NorCal 50+ wrote:

Charge and prosecute this asshole under whatever legal statute covers this. He should go to jail for that.


Ed Johnson

5/8/2018 9:32 PM

Yup, there be some bad apples out there. I suspect he won't be an officer for long.
I think the good ones don't like the bad ones being out there any more than we do.

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5/9/2018 5:11 AM

ToolMaker wrote:

Yup, there be some bad apples out there. I suspect he won't be an officer for long.
I think the good ones don't like the bad ...more

I used to believe/hope that also. But time and time again, stories showing the depths of the thin blue line start making it harder to truly believe. This very recent local story is a prime example.

In the video in the original post, I'm seriously wondering what would have happened if the customer would have been armed and chose to defend himself from someone drawing a firearm on him. Or what would have happened if someone had entered the store to see someone with a drawn weapon and had taken lethal action. I wonder if either would have been charged with a crime.


5/9/2018 5:46 AM

Like I've said before, bad apples in all walks of life. Give anybody authority and there is potential
for abuse of it. Look how differently teachers treat students that they like vs dislike. Someone that they
have to deal with day in and day out for a full year. I don't take the position that there are not bad LEOs,
just the position that it's not the norm. It's been so bad this last 10 years that the country seems to believe
there are more bad than good. Some of them truly need to be removed. Unions which are needed to protect
the good ones in bad situations are also protecting the bad ones though. It's very difficult to remove bad
public sector employees. All the training in the world will not make a bad person good.
Just my 2 cents

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