Photo: ACSO show fake gun
Despite California law prohibiting imitation firearms resembling actual weapons, a January 29th, 2019 incident in Oakland served to prove that such replicas still circulate. That Tuesday morning, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office received notice of a man brandishing a weapon at Laney College.
A responding, uniformed police lieutenant, in searching the community college campus, saw a known transient standing near to the Laney College car park on the sidewalk at 7th Street in Oakland, just across the bay from San Francisco. From his vantage point, the officer saw that the suspect was pointing a gun at passing vehicles, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page.
In an attempt to draw the suspect’s attention away from the passing students and citizens, the lieutenant approached the suspect and asked him to surrender. The suspect, upon perceiving the officer, concealed the weapon and refused to comply.
A second officer, dispatched as cover, then arrived on the scene in a marked patrol vehicle. Both the lieutenant and the police deputy attempted to negotiate with the disobliging, incoherent suspect, who instead turned away from the officers and started walking towards the college campus.
In order to prevent what showed signs of becoming a yet another campus shooting, the lieutenant sprinted after the suspect and tackled him to the ground. After a brief struggle, the officers were able to detain the suspect without further incident. Only then could they see that the gun was an imitation firearm.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said that the police lieutenant was “an experienced member of its Crisis Intervention Unit and experienced in dealing with persons in mental health crisis”, and that both he and the deputy were assigned to the Peralta Community College Police Services District.
As for the suspect, he was taken for medical evaluation and subsequently arrested for brandishing a weapon and related charges.