Police arrested a parolee last week after he allegedly brandished a replica handgun and threatened an employee in a Costa Mesa store, police said Friday.
Just after noon Friday, Osvaldo Castro, 34, of Santa Ana, went into a Metro PCS store at 1175 Baker St. with what appeared to be a semiautomatic handgun, according to a Costa Mesa Police Department news release.
Police said Castro pointed the gun over the counter at an employee's face. When he tried to fire the replica gun, it malfunctioned and Castro fled, according to the release.
After witnesses told police that Castro was a known customer at the store, police searched the surrounding area and checked his nearby home, police said.
Officers then received a tip that someone matching Castro's description was seen near Mendoza and Mission drives. Officers took Castro into custody and found a gun nearby, said police, who didn't discuss the functionality of the replica.
Castro was booked on charges of making criminal threats, commercial burglary and brandishing a replica handgun and is being held at Orange County Jail without bail, according to police.
Costa Mesa police are asking witnesses with additional information to call Det. Bang Le at (714) 754-5361.
— Jeremiah Dobruck