'Brave' mother uses taco to distract fake cop terrorizing family, police say

A California woman was praised for her “momma bear instincts” after she distracted a gun-toting fake cop who was terrorizing her husband and four children on Sunday by simply offering him a taco, police said.

The family was enjoying carne asada tacos and soda from a food truck in the City of Industry in Los Angeles County around 6:30 p.m. when a “dangerous stranger” approached the family and began terrorizing them, police said in a news release Monday. The family had stopped to get food after a day at the waterpark.

The family of six were saved when the mother pulled out the "taco tactic" to distract the suspect.

The family of six were saved when the mother pulled out the "taco tactic" to distract the suspect. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

The man, identified as Juan Rodriguez, allegedly claimed to be an undercover cop and flashed his gun concealed on his waistband and flashed a badge in an attempt to prove his identity, police said.

The mother, however, saw right through the disguise, police said.

“The mother instantly began to put together a plan in place to distance her husband, three daughters and toddler who was still buckled in his car seat inches away from the man with a gun,” police said.

The mother went to the taco truck to ask for help discretely.

The mother went to the taco truck to ask for help discretely. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

The mother, going for the "taco tactic," offered the 38-year-old suspect a taco and told him she needed to grab napkins from the food truck.

“The man with the gun continued to flash his gun and ransack through the mother’s purse as she walked away,” the news release stated.

The mother approached customers at the taco truck, told them not too look a back and told them a man with a gun was threatening her family. The taco truck employees and customers immediately called 911.

Police found Rodriguez standing next to the family’s van when they arrived at the scene. Rodriguez allegedly tried to escape by tossing his gun in the van and trying to get in.

Juan Rodriguez, 38, was arrested after allegedly threatening a family and pretending to be a fake cop.

Juan Rodriguez, 38, was arrested after allegedly threatening a family and pretending to be a fake cop. (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

“Deputies were able to detain the suspect before anything further occurred. Deputies recovered the gun and made sure all family members were unharmed,” police said.

Rodriguez was charged with child endangerment, impersonation an officer and outstanding warrants.