Redlands, CA – An off-duty sheriff’s deputy helped disarm a man who was walked into a bar May 20 carrying a loaded rifle, and police are saying this likely prevented a tragedy.
Gilbert Arellano III, 36, is suspected of drinking at a birthday party and then going to a downtown bar where he got into an altercation with unidentified customers, according to a Facebook post by the Redlands Police Department.
Police said that Arellano then left the bar and went to his residence where he picked up a loaded AR-15.
He then returned early Sunday morning to the downtown bar and confronted three people in the parking lot.
Police said that Arellano pointed the gun at one of them in a threatening manner.
Arellano then walked into the entrance of The Underground bar.
A bar employee stopped Arellano and attempted to take the rifle away. An off-duty officer from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy learned there was an armed man and rushed to jump in and disarm the man.
Customers piled on and assisted restraining the suspect.
They held him until the Redlands Police Department arrived and took Arellano into custody.
Arellano was arrested for attempted assault with a deadly weapon, according to the police. He also had additional weapons registered to him and by a court order was not legally allowed to possess any guns.
The reason he was disqualified from possessing firearms wasn't immediately clear.
Police obtained a search warrant on Sunday afternoon and confiscated additional weapons at Arellano’s residence.
On the Redlands Police Department Facebook page, commenters applauded the off-duty officer and the bar employee.
Harry Stone posted that it didn’t seem possible this could happen in California.
“California has strict gun control to keep us safe,” Stone posted. “Don’t criminals obey laws.”