Man who allegedly brandished gun surrenders without incident 

He sat alone in Round Table Pizza as law enforcement waited him out.
Replica handgun found on the suspect, according to police. Photo courtesy of Hollister PD.
Replica handgun found on the suspect, according to police. Photo courtesy of Hollister PD.

At 3:36 p.m. on Feb. 28, the Hollister Police Department issued an alert about police activity on Tres Pinos Road at Ladd Lane in Hollister. HPD asked that people stay away from the area until further notice.

Police scanners said a man, identified as a transient, had been seen inside of Round Table Pizza next to Chase Bank. The man allegedly had a gun and as he sat alone in the empty restaurant, a person was hiding in the back and telling police by cellphone what he was doing.

Hollister Police Chief Carlos Reynoso said a report had come in that the man had brandished the weapon at someone.

Outside, San Benito County Sheriff’s deputies blocked the intersection and an entrance to the former K-Mart. Hollister police blocked the parking lot and cordoned off the area. Customers were rushed out of Chase Bank as police watched the front door of the restaurant.

Nearby Rancho San Justo Middle School was also placed on lockdown.

Officers with long guns were spotted between the restaurant and the bank, as well as near the Grocery Outlet Bargain Market. A command post was set up across the street in the former K-Mart parking lot, where Reynoso and others monitored the situation.

Around 4 p.m. the man stepped out of the restaurant and surrendered to police and Sheriff’s deputies. He was handcuffed and taken to a waiting squad car. Reynoso told BenitoLink it was too early for him to say what transpired.

“I’m going to find out what we have as far as the person detained and what further crimes that we may have,” he said. “We do have a reporting person who said that he brandished a handgun towards them. So that’s why we took these steps, in order to err on the side of caution. Luckily, he’s been taken into custody. It would appear to be a safe situation at this point. So now we just have to follow up on what’s going on.”

Reynoso described the man as a young Hispanic but had no further details.

Reynoso said the man appeared to have a 9mm handgun. The gun turned out to be a camouflage-colored replica, according to the police.


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John Chadwell

John Chadwell is a freelance photojournalist with additional experience as a copywriter, ghostwriter, scriptwriter, and novelist. He is a former U.S. Navy Combat Photojournalist and is an award-winning writer, having worked for magazine, newspapers, radio and television. He has a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications from Chapman University and graduate studies at USC Cinema School. John worked as a scriptwriting consultant, and his own script, "God's Club," was produced and released in 2016. He has also written eight novels, ranging from science fiction to true crime, which are sold on Amazon. To contact John Chadwell, send an email to: [email protected]