Jose Arreola stopped at a local gas station on March 16th to use the ATM and to buy a pack of Mentos. Arreola pays for the pack and slips them in his pocket. Next thing he knew, a cop reaches for his pistol, pulls the slide back to chamber a round and tells Arreola "Give that back... police officer" the off duty officer shouts. As Arreola begins to think he might die over a $1.19 pack of Mentos.
As Arreola recounts the events to reporters and the Buena Park Police “I thought my wife could be a widow after tonight,” Arreola, 49, said.
Buena Park Police Chief Corey Sianez called the encounter "disturbing" and has already triggered an administrative investigation, he said in a Facebook statement last week.
“I can definitely assure you that our investigation will be thorough, and if the officer is found to be in violation of any policies and procedures, he will be held accountable,” Sianez said.
According to the surveillance video recently released, Arreola is seen asking what the price of the mints is then hands over cash before slipping the mints in his pocket. That was apparently all it took for the officer to take action. The officer pulled his pistol out and demand that Arreola put the mints back on the counter.
After holding his pistol out for eight seconds, the officer appears to put the pistol back into his pocket. “Try stealing that again. Get your cash and leave,” the officer warns.
As Arreola panics and steps out of the way, the officer directs his attention to the cashier: “Did he pay for this?” The cashier answers yes. The officer asks if he is sure. He offers the same reply: Yes.
“My apologies, sir,” the officer tells Arreola. “My apologies.” Arreola is seen collecting the rest of his change and quickly makes his way toward the exit.
The department has not responded when asked if the officer is back on duty.