FONTANA (CBSLA) — A Fontana officer was being praised Tuesday for talking down a distraught suspect, and preventing an already stressful situation from becoming a tragedy.
The just-released footage from that officer’s body-worn camera shows the officer talking to a suspect who he believed had a firearm and had been walking around pointing it at people.
“Pull your left hand out. Pull your left hand out. Right now,” the officer can be heard saying in the video. “Do it. Do it! Pull your hand out, do not pull a gun out. I’m telling you right now, I will shoot you. You understand me?”
The officer repeated his commands for several minutes, pleading with the man to take his hands out of his pockets, at one point saying he could see an outline of a gun in the man’s pocket and repeating that he was there to help.
But when a second officer arrived and the pair were able to safely detain the man, the officers discovered that the man only had a cell phone.
It turned out that the suspect was the one who called 911 with a report of a man pointing a gun at people, and there was never any danger to people.
The incident happened two weeks ago in a commercial area near Commerce Way and Santa Ana, and police said the officer recognized right away that the man was likely suffering from a mental health crisis.
“This stuff happens every single day across the U.S., and this one was just captured on tape,” Rich Guerrero, a spokesperson with the Fontana Police Department, said. “And it’s something we wanted to put out there to show the things that our officers go through and that split second decision.”
Police said the man is not currently facing any charges.