VENICE (CBSLA.com) — It played like a scene in a movie: police were called to the Venice boardwalk Tuesday when a man started walking around with a chainsaw, yelling at passersby.
A local shop owner saw what was happening and whipped out her camera to shoot video. Viviane Robertson, who’s been doing business on the boardwalk for 20 years, says police had their guns drawn and were yelling at the man to drop the chainsaw.
“It was very scary,” Robertson said. “Somebody walking around with a chainsaw. You don’t expect that.”
The chainsaw was not turned on but police told CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Brittney Hopper that the blades were so sharp they could have hurt someone.
“The police came up in their cars, and just started drawing their guns in my direction, so I was really panicking,” the shop owner said.
The suspect was arrested. Officials have not yet released his identity.
The incident began when 911 calls started coming in, saying there was an unconscious person on the boardwalk and a man walking around with a chainsaw, yelling at people.
Police say they never found a victim.
Other witnesses say when officers arrived they asked people if they saw a man with a chainsaw. Many of them initially thought it was a joke but soon realized there was an armed man on the loose.
Spencer Davis was walking on the boardwalk when he saw police point a gun at the suspect.
“He didn’t drop it and he got closer and [officers] actually kicked the chainsaw out of his hands,” Davis said. “I keep telling myself: In Venice, you never know what you’re going to see. And every time I think I’ve seen it all, something else happens.”