Face Off

At around 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18, an off-duty Stockton police officer was leaving the 856 Restaurant and Lounge when, according to the Sheriff’s Office, someone in the parking lot pointed a firearm at him. The officer got out of his vehicle and confronted the gun-flasher, and was assaulted. His attacker fled.

The Sheriff’s Office didn’t report what may have provoked the gun-pulling.

As it happened, the Stockton cop had been hanging out with a few other off-duty law enforcement officers — among them, the Sheriff’s Office said, an (unarmed) San Joaquin County correctional officer, a correctional officer from Deuel Vocational Institution, and an officer from the Contra Costa Community College Police District. More than one of them, including the Stockton officer, were carrying firearms themselves, which the law entitles them to do.

When the Stockton officer’s attacker ran, the whole off-duty crew tried to catch him. Some drew firearms, sensibly, as the guy they were chasing had already broken leather.

Sensible, sure, but when a California Highway Patrol unit rolled up on a handful of armed men sweeping the Lincoln Village parking lot, there was a tense moment.

“We were the first ones on scene at the 856 club,” said Officer Angel Arceo, a CHP spokesman. “According to the info we have here, we did have at one time six at gunpoint.”

Everything was sorted out shortly thereafter, probably with some flashing of badges.

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the brandishing of a firearm by the man who ran. A spokesman for the Stockton Police Department confirmed the involvement of its officer, and said that if an internal investigation is called for it will be done, and it will be confidential.

A manager of 856 Restaurant and Lounge wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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