Homeless man arrested on gun charges after he threatens young softball players in Santa Ana park


A homeless man was arrested Monday night in Santa Ana after police found a loaded gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside a shed at a city-owned park where the man was staying.

Ruben Perez, 37, broke into a storage facility at Carl Thornton Park, making it his residence, and stashed a handgun and nearly 600 bullets inside, authorities said Tuesday.

A travel softball team found Perez had broken into the shed, which it used for storage, when the girls returned to practice after a few days of road games, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department.


Team members told police they asked him to leave and when they said they planned to call the authorities, Perez said: “You’re a snitch, I’m going to get my gun.”

“They immediately cleared all the kids out of the softball field and called us,” Bertagna said.

When officers placed Perez under arrest, he asked to retrieve his shoes from the shed. He tried to reenter the building, but officers stopped him — and that’s when they saw what was inside.

A vest filled with 18 magazines of ammunition, each fully loaded, and a .45-caliber handgun were among the items Perez had stashed in the shed, including a cot, Bertagna said.

Police said many of the items were stolen.

Perez was booked on suspicion of burglary and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He was being held in a Santa Ana jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.


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