In an incident that could have taken a tragic turn, an off-duty police officer was recorded pointing his gun at a civilian after assuming he was stealing candy — even though the man actually paid for them.
Jose Arreola was reportedly buying Mentos for his wife at an Orange County service station in California. The footage from the March incident showed Arreola asking the cashier for the price and then paying $1.19 for his purchase.
However, within a second, a man wearing shorts appeared in the video. He stood behind Arreola and pointed his gun at him before telling him to take the Mentos out of his pocket.
The 49-year-old, who was naturally shaken by the gun, repeatedly kept telling the man, who introduced himself as a cop, that he had paid for the Mentos. But the unidentified cop turned deaf ear and asked Arreola to pick up his cash and leave without the candy.
As soon as Arreola moved to exit the gas station, the off-duty police officer cop asked the cashier if he had actually paid for the Mentos; the answer was yes. The cop again asked if the Mentos had been paid for and when the cashier answered yes for the second time, the officer apologized to Arreola.
However, the apology was not enough for drawing a gun at an innocent man without any kind of evidence whatsoever.
“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 Police are investigating the incident.
"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," said Buena Park Police Chief Corey S. Sianez. "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."
Unarmed men have been killed by cops throughout the country. Not too long ago, a man named Stephon Clark was fatally shot in his own backyard in Sacramento after police officers mistook his cellphone for a firearm.
According to a Washington Post database, 370 people have been shot dead by police officers this year.
"It made me mad. At the same time, it scared me because I thought he could shoot me," Arreola added.
Thumbnail/Banner: Pixabay, MakyFoto