The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is praising the actions of “one brave momma bear” who rescued her family from a gun-wielding man pretending to be a cop.
In a press release shared on Monday, the LASD explained how the anonymous woman managed to use her “mother’s instinct” to resolve the dangerous situation.
In the early evening of June 10, the family of six stopped to get street tacos from a truck in the City of Industry after spending the day at a waterpark. While the family ate in their parked minivan, a stranger approached on a bicycle.
According to the LASD, the man began to “intimidate and terrorize” the parents and their four young kids, flashing a gun concealed in his waistband. He claimed to be an undercover cop, showing them a fake badge. But the quick-thinking mom knew better.
“The mother instantly began to put together a plan in place to distance her husband, three daughters, and toddler who was still buckled in his car seat inches away from the man with a gun,” LASD said in a statement.
The unnamed mom offered the man one of her tacos and handed over her purse. While he was busy rifling through her bag, she told him she needed to grab more napkins for him from the taco truck. Once there, she was able to tell the truck owner and other customers what was going on and ask them to call 911.
Deputies arrived on the scene “within minutes” of receiving the call for help. The fake cop threw his handgun into the family’s van and tried to get inside the vehicle to escape, but police were able to detain him. The suspect, later identified as Juan Rodriguez, was taken to jail.
The sheriff’s department credited the brave mom’s “taco-tactics” and said the situation’s resolution provided “reassurance that we can work together to put bad guys in jail and have safer communities for our families.”
“We want to thank the community members who immediately called law enforcement to report the suspicious activity,” the LASD said in their press release. “We want to give a shout out to the brave mother whose momma bear instincts kicked in, and she was able to deescalate the situation, plan a distraction, and found a way to get deputies to her location immediately.”
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