November 18, 2021 7:56 AM
by Rudy Flores
On November 16, 2021, at about 2:30 PM, SMPD units responded to a “man with a gun” call at Chess Park (1652 Ocean Front Walk). Officers safely made contact with the individual and due to extensive training were able to quickly identify that the items in his bag were parts of an airsoft rifle and could not be fully assembled into a working device. An airsoft gun often resembles a traditional firearm but shoots nonlethal, plastic pellets. No other weapon or replica of a weapon was located. Contrary to rumor, there were no victims of criminal threats nor brandishing of this replica firearm. The male subject surrendered the parts of the airsoft to our officers.
We understand and share the concern from the community. The individual in possession of the replica rifle did not meet the criteria for an involuntary psychiatric hold. Per current law, officers collected as much personal information as possible and confiscated the airsoft parts. Penal Code 20170 is the California gun law that makes it a crime for a person to display an imitation firearm in public. A first offense violation is treated as an infraction and not punishable by imprisonment.
We thank the community members that reported the incident and remind you that we count on all residents to be an extension of SMPD. Your extra eyes and ears are an essential piece of the crime prevention and policing puzzle. Please continue to report criminal behavior by calling 9-1-1 or 310-458-8491 (non-emergency dispatch).