SANTA ANA (CBSLA.com) — In fear for his safety, Orange County Board of Supervisor Chairman Todd Spitzer says he went to his car to get a gun, then handcuffed a man at a restaurant and held him until police arrived.
“Honestly, I’m incredibly proud at how I handled the situation,” said Spitzer, who explains that he was so threatened by the way a man was behaving toward him at Wahoo’s Fish Taco in Foothill Ranch recently that he made this 911 call:
911 Dispatcher: “What’s going on there?”
Todd Spitzer: “I’m eating lunch. This is Supervisor Todd Spitzer. A stranger walked up to me and wouldn’t get out of my face and I asked him to leave me alone and he’s in a restaurant and he’s like harassing me. He needs to be talked to. I don’t know if he’s on drugs or what but … I’m fearing for my safety.”
Spitzer says the man wanted to talk to him about Jesus and the Bible.
Then, according to Spitzer, the man looked at a knife that was on the table where Spitzer was sitting.
“He came between the tables as if he was going to sit down and he was looking at the knife,” he said. “That’s when I was very concerned.”
But according to Spitzer, the man never picked up the knife.
Spitzer then went out to his car, retrieved a gun and a pair of handcuffs, and returned to the restaurant. He then confronted the man and made a second 911 call approximately seven minutes later.
911 Dispatcher: “911.”
Todd Spitzer: “Yeah, I’m calling back on this Foothill Ranch Wahoo’s call and I have this man now under arrest. He’s handcuffed. You need to make this Code 2-HIGH call for me, please.”
911 Dispatcher: “It already is, Todd.”
Todd Spitzer: “Well, let the officers know I am armed, OK? And I had to place handcuffs on this guy. Just let them know that, all right?”
When asked if he felt his actions were out of line, Spitzer said: “I don’t think anything I did. In fact, I think it was textbook.”
Squad cars arrived with sirens blaring and officers led the man in Spitzer’s handcuffs away.
That man, identified as Jeovany Castellano, was placed in the back of a squad car and questioned briefly before being un-cuffed.
He and Spitzer were allowed to go their separate ways.
Spitzer served as a Los Angeles Police Department reserve officer for 10 years and has a permit to carry a concealed weapon and says he has carried handcuffs in the back of his car for years.
The incident was thoroughly investigated by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and they found, although the circumstances were somewhat bizarre, Spitzer did nothing wrong.
“There’s a million different ways to handle an issue or an incident, but what he did did not constitute any type of crime,” Lt. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.
Castellano could not be reached on Thursday for comment and has not filed a complaint against Spitzer.