The Los Angeles Times reports that a man was taken into custody Tuesday after entering a U.S. Marine Corps recruitment center brandishing a toy gun.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) June 21, 2016
Angel Cruz, 23, described by authorities as a transient, was asked to leave the U.S. Marine Corps recruitment center in Lancaster, Calif., after causing a disturbance. That’s when he lifted his shirt to display the butt of a gun tucked into his waistband, police say.
Police who apprehended Cruz discovered that the gun was a fake; however, the orange safety tip meant to indicate that it’s a toy had been painted black to conceal that fact.
(Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old who was tragically shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer, was playing with an air pistol traded to him by a friend who later claimed the bright orange safety tip had come off after he’d disassembled the pistol after a malfunction, and he was unable to put it back on.)
Last summer, volunteers stood guard at recruiting centers after Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez killed four Marines and one Sailor in Chattanooga, Tenn., soon after which the Army told recruiting offices to consider those volunteer armed guards potential “security threats.”