After coming close to killing a man over a cell phone case shaped like a gun, police in California are warning citizens to think twice about using such devices.
After all, the next time could end “tragically,” as the Alhambra Police Department noted.
And we could have told you that knowing how cops will confuse anything for a gun, whether it be a smartphone with no gun-shaped attachment, a wallet or just a hand with an index finger extended, which have all gotten people killed by police.
The latest incident took place Thursday after after a man was found sleeping in his car in the parking lot of a grocery store, which sent alarm waves through the local police and fire departments.
The Alhambra Fire Department was the first to respond, but then they noticed the gun-shaped cell phone holder next to the sleeping man, which is when they called police.
The Alhambra Police Department showed up, spotted the case next to the sleeping man, then called the Special Enforcement Bureau of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which is what they call their SWAT team.
Almost four hours after the fire department responded, the man apparently woke up and “surrendered,” even though he had broken no law.
Today (12/30/16), at 10:52 am, the Alhambra Police Department received a call from the Alhambra Fire Department stating they responded to the parking lot of Albertson store (Commonwealth Avenue/Fremont Avenue) regarding a possible medical issue of a subject in a vehicle. Upon the Alhambra Fire Department’s arrival, they noticed a male subject possibly sleeping or unconscious in the driver’s seat of a blue Suburban Vehicle and what appeared to be a gun next to him. At that point, they called the Alhambra Police Department and we responded. Once officers arrived, they looked through the vehicle’s window and saw a male subject sleeping or unconscious with what appeared to be a gun on his lap next to his hand.
We contacted the Special Enforcement Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department for assistance. They responded and took over the investigation. At approximately 2:35 pm the subject surrender and came out of his vehicle with his hands up. The situation ended peaceful and it was determined what appeared to be a gun was actually a cellphone case of a gun. The male subject did not require any medical attention, was not arrested, and was sleeping in his vehicle.
The businesses are back to normal in the area and we would like to thank the citizens for their understanding during the investigation. We would also like to thank the Special Enforcement Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department, Monterey Park Police Department, South Pasadena Police Department, and San Marino Police Department for their assistance and professional response. This incident could have very easily ended tragically. Please reconsider carrying items like this in public.
Because had this man’s phone rang as he was sleeping, prompting him to answer it, he would probably not be living today.