An off-duty police officer at a service station in Orange County, Calif., drew a gun on a man whom he suspected of stealing Mentos worth $1.19, video footage shows.
Jose Arreola, 49, who lives near Los Angeles, told the Orange County Register that he and his wife were going to a club in mid-March when the incident occurred. They stopped at a gas station in Buena Park to withdraw cash from an ATM. Arreola’s wife, Jacqueline, asked him to buy her some mints.
After withdrawing $60 in cash, Arreola bought a back of Mentos with a $20 bill. While waiting for the clerk to give back change, Arreola pocketed the mints, the video footage shows.
A man, wearing a black hoody and shorts and standing behind Arreola immediately draws a gun, says he is a police officer and tells Arreola to put the candy back on the counter.
Arreola insists he had paid for the mints but the officer tells him to take his change and leave.
“It’s been a month and I still can’t shake it,” Arreola told the Register. “It was traumatic, the whole incident. (And) I grew up in Santa Ana. I’ve been shot before.”
Arreola has retained an attorney and is seeking financial damages from the Buena Park police department.