Crime & Justice

Off-duty LAPD officer fires weapon during tussle with Anaheim teens

Anaheim police have opened an investigation into a confrontation between an off-duty Los Angeles police officer and a group of teenagers that ended with a gunshot from the officer and arrests by Anaheim police.

Cell phone video of the incident showed a man in a flannel shirt and sunglasses struggling with a 13-year-old boy in a hoodie. In the video, the boy tries to escape the man, who has a firm grip on his clothes.

About a dozen teens with backpacks follow and surround both, urging the man to let the boy go. At one point, it appears one teen tries to pull the boy free, followed by another teen shoving the man over a hedge. The man pulls a gun from his waistband and continues to struggle with the boy before a shot rings out. It is unclear whether the officer fired on accident or on purpose, but nobody was hit.

You can see the full video below (Warning: Contains strong language):

Teenage kid kicked by off-duty officer

Here's an alternate angle of the incident. (It also contains strong language):

It was unclear if the kids knew the man was an off-duty officer during the confrontation, but Anaheim police said in a statement that the incident occurred in front of the off-duty officer’s home and that there had been “ongoing issues with juveniles walking across the officer’s property.”

The boy reportedly threatened to shoot the off-duty officer, according to the statement. In response, the officer attempted to detain the boy until police could arrive, and that prompted the physical confrontation with the other teens.

Anaheim PD said the officer fired his gun once.

“The law is the same whether it’s for a private citizen or an off-duty officer as to when they’re justified in discharging a firearm,” said Sgt. Daron Wyatt with the Anaheim Police Department. “That’s what will be reviewed, not his position. From our standpoint, his position as an off-duty officer is irrelevant.”

The boy was booked at Orange County Juvenile Hall on suspicion of making criminal threats and battery. Another boy, 15, was arrested for assault and battery, according to the police. Both boys have since been released.

Wyatt told KPCC the LAPD is conducting a separate investigation. The off-duty officer has not been arrested.