BUENA PARK, Calif. (FOX 11) - An off-duty police officer at a service station in Buena Park drew a gun on a man whom he mistakenly suspected of stealing Mentos worth $1.19, video footage shows.
Jose Arreola of Bell Flower and his wife believe they were racially profiled and they are now fighting back.
The couple went to a Chevron Station in Buena Park on March 16 to withdraw cash from an ATM and to buy some mints.
After withdrawing cash, Arreola bought a back of Mentos with a $20 bill. While waiting for the clerk to give change, Arreola pocketed the mints, the video footage shows.
A man, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and shorts and standing behind Arreola immediately draws a gun, says he is a police officer and tells Arreola to put the candy back on the counter.
Arreola is shown putting his hands up and saying that he did pay for the mints. The officer can be heard telling him to take his cash and leave before asking the cashier if Arreola paid for the mints.
The cashier says yes and the officer then apologizes as Arreola leaves the store.
Now, Arreola and his wife want justice and say they were affected negatively by the ordeal.
They want an explanation for behavior they say went way over the line and they have hired an attorney.
The Buena Park Police Chief said in a statement: "I want you to know that after I watched the video I found it to be disturbing, as I'm sure it was to you. However, because there is an ongoing personnel investigation and potential litigation pending against the city, I am unable to discuss the details of our investigation. I can definitely assure you that our investigation will be thorough and if the officer is found to be in violation of any policies and procedures, he will be held accountable."
The off-duty officer seen in the video has not yet been unidentified.
The Arreolas say they want an apology from the police department and acknowledgement that the officer acted inappropriately.