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California

O.C. investigator on leave after teens say he pulled a gun on them while off duty

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

An investigator with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department has been placed on administrative leave after reports that he pulled a gun out in an encounter with a group of teenagers at a San Clemente skate park over the weekend.

The Sheriff’s Department said in a statement that it has launched an internal inquiry into the allegations against the investigator, who was not named by officials. When it is complete, the Sheriff’s Department will turn over the investigation to the Orange County district attorney’s office.

Teenagers told KTTV Channel 11 that the investigator approached the group because they were playing loud music.

“He did not look like a cop or anything,” one of the teenagers said. “It was probably like three seconds he had [the gun] out, and everyone froze and was in shock.”

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Video of the incident appears to show a man suggesting that he pulled out the gun because one of the teenagers had lifted a skateboard toward him.

“When a kid raises his skateboard … he’s lucky he didn’t get shot,” said the man, who flashed a Sheriff’s Department badge when speaking to the teenagers and adults at the scene.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department would not confirm details reported in the media about the incident.

“Orange County Sheriff’s Department employees are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism on- and off-duty,” officials said in their statement. “We take this incident seriously and will fully investigate.”


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