PETALUMA (BCN) — A man was arrested in Petaluma on Friday evening after flashing what appeared to be a handgun in front of officers on patrol, police said.
According to police, an officer was patrolling the area around Hopper Street and Caulfield Lane around 7:20 p.m. because of an increase of homeless camps in the area.
The officer spotted a man he recognized as 27-year-old Jesse Pruett leaving the area.
Police said the officer requested a warrant check on Pruett and found that he had three outstanding arrest warrants for shoplifting, trespassing on railroad property and obstructing a police officer.
The officer attempted to detain and arrest Pruett for the warrants, but witnessed Pruett draw what appeared to be a black semiautomatic firearm from his waistband area and put it into his sweatshirt pocket.
After seeing the alleged firearm, which was later discovered to be a BB gun, the officer called for additional officers to respond and assist.
Meanwhile, Pruett climbed a nearby fence and positioned himself in a large, open, fenced enclosure where officers were not able to approach Pruett, still believing him to be armed with a real firearm.
Officers attempted to communicate with Pruett using a patrol vehicle’s public address system, but he refused to listen to orders and submit to arrest.
At some point, Pruett walked around the fenced enclosure and became much more unpredictable, according to police.
Fearing for the large group of people nearby, officers quickly entered the area and continued to give Pruett orders. Eventually, officers were forced to use a Taser stun gun on Pruett in order to help take him into custody.
A search of Pruett revealed he was no longer in possession of the suspected firearm, and police said a search of the area revealed he had tossed the weapon into some nearby weeds before he had entered the fenced area, police said.
Police said after being checked into a hospital for evaluation, Pruett was booked at Sonoma County Jail for his outstanding warrants.