A 27-year-old South Gate man was arrested Wednesday evening after he ran from police inside the Glendale Galleria, where a patron allegedly spotted him carrying a gun, police said.
Nathaniel Gonzales, who is on federal probation for drug violations, was taken into custody about 7 p.m. after police officers chased him from the mall through the Anoush Banquet Hall on the 400 block of West Colorado Street, according to police reports.
A mall patron called police about 6:51 p.m. after noticing Gonzales carrying a gun in his shorts pocket as he walked in and out of the mall near Target, according to police reports.
The patron told police that Gonzales was acting suspicious.
“I have to give credit to the person who called this in,” police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. “If you don’t call us, something bad can happen.”
Community service and security officers searched for Gonzales on video footage from surveillance cameras inside the mall and spotted him talking on a cell phone, according to police. As they looked at the video, they noticed a bulky item in his pocket.
Plain-clothes Glendale police officers approached Gonzales and displayed their badges, but he turned and ran away, according to incident reports.
Officers ordered Gonzales to stop, but he ran through the mall parking lot and across Columbus Street to the banquet hall, police said.
Gonzales entered the empty banquet hall, ran through the building and out a rear exit, where he was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a concealed weapon and resisting arrest, police said.
Officers searched a large container used for pickling vegetables near the banquet hall’s exit and found a loaded North American Arms Guardian pistol, which the employee told officers wasn’t there before Gonzales ran through the building.
The gun had been reported stolen on April 27 in La Habra, according to police.
Detectives are still trying to determine whether Gonzales was the one who stole the gun, Lorenz said.