An off-duty cop pulled a gun on a convenience store customer in California over a $1.19 pack of Mentos.
According to reports, the incident occurred back in March after 49-year-old Jose Arreola entered the Chevron gas station mini-mart in Buena Park. Arreola was on a mission to buy his wife a pack of mint candy when he was approached by the eager-to-shoot-cop.
“I put [the Mentos] on the counter and I gave the cashier $20,” Arreola told the Orange County Register of the incident. “As he’s getting my change, I grab the Mentos and put them in my left jacket pocket and as soon as I put them in my pocket, I hear someone with a loud voice behind me say, “I’m a police officer – take that out of your pocket.”
Video of the incident has since been released, which forced Arreola to relive the incident.
“Put it back! I’m a police officer!” the officer said with his gun drawn, prompting Arreola to quickly plead his case. “I just paid for this he said.”
“Put it back,” the officer responded, as Arreola put the candy on the counter. “He tried stealing that from you,” he continued, asking the clerk “Did he pay for this?”
In turn, the employee simply replied, “Yeah,” however, the officer wasn’t immediately convinced. “He paid for it? Are you sure,” he asked, allowing the cashier to confirm his response. Eventually, the officer apologized to Arreola, which has since filed a formal complaint against him.
“I feel disappointed that I was mistreated and harassed when I did nothing wrong,” Arreola said. “He was so adamant about treating me like a criminal. I didn’t feel initial fear. I felt more like anger. It made me mad. It scared me because I thought this guy can shoot me…..my wife could be a widow after tonight.”
In the wake of the incident, the chief of the officer’s department released a statement, saying, “The video of the incident clearly shows our officer drawing his gun, but not pointing it, at a subject he allegedly believed was committing a theft.”
“We were aware of this incident after it occurred and we immediately began conducting an administrative investigation into the conduct of the officer involved,” Corey Sianez said. “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. 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.”