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Off-duty officer draws gun on man buying candy

Posted at 6:55 AM, May 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-07 06:55:56-04

BUENA PARK, CA (KCAL/KCBS/CNN) - An off-duty police officer is under fire for pulling his gun on a customer he thought was stealing a pack of Mentos.

The incident was caught on a convenience store surveillance camera.

The victim, Jose Arreola, isn't calling for the officer to be fired.

Security video clearly shows Jose Arreola paying for a roll of Mentos at the store.  He then puts the candy in his pocket before an off-duty Buena Park police officer walks in.

The officer brandished his gun and told Jose Arreola to "put it back."

When Arreola said, “I just paid for it,” the off-duty officer said for him to "get your cash and leave.”

The officer then asked the cashier if he paid for the candy. The cashier said he did, so the officer told Jose Arreola, "My apologies. My apologies."

"The hardest thing for me was, believe it or not, it wasn’t really the gun. It was his arrogance, his way of talking to me. … He treated me like a piece of trash,” Jose Arreola said.

He said it happened on March 16 while his wife, Jackie Arreola, was sitting in the car. He filed a complaint the next day, which led to the discovery of the video.

"We’re not lying about what happened because that’s how they made us feel,” Jackie Arreola said.

Buena Park Police Chief Corey S. Sianez wrote in a Facebook post, "I want you to know that after I watched the video I found it to be disturbing, as I’m sure it was to you. However, because there is an ongoing personnel investigation and potential litigation pending against the city, I am unable to discuss the details of our investigation."

The Arreolas said they don’t want the officer fired, but they would like him to get better training.

"There’s a lot of good people, officers, but when one or two do bad things, it just reflects on the whole department," Jose Arreola said.

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