A mom and her family found themselves in an alarming situation on Sunday when they were enjoying cold sodas and street tacos in their minivan. The Los Angeles woman, her husband and four children were heading home after a day at a water park and decided to stop at a taco truck, when a man posing as a police officer rolled up on a bike.
The man then intimidated and terrorized the family of six, flashed a gun that was concealed in his waistband, showed them a badge and told them he was an undercover cop, according to a press release shared by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
The quick-thinking mom knew the man wasn't a cop and tried to distance him from her family, including her toddler who was still buckled in his car seat only inches away from the stranger. She offered the fake cop a taco and handed him her purse, saying that she had to grab more napkins at the nearby taco truck for him. While she went to the truck, the man continued to flash his gun and dig through the woman's purse.
The mom told people in line to not look at her van but to call 911 or help her.
At the taco truck, the mom told people in line to not look at her van but to call 911 or help her. Within minutes, deputies arrived. Seeing the police get closer, the man tossed the handgun into the van and tried to get into the vehicle, but the deputies were able to detain him.
All the family members were unharmed, and the 38-year-old suspect, Juan Rodriguez, was arrested on several felony charges, including child endangerment, impersonating a peace officer and outstanding warrants.
"We want to thank the community members who immediately called law enforcement to report the suspicious activity. We want to give a shoutout 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," the Sheriff's Department praised.
We hope the mom treated herself to some extra tacos for her smart taco tactic and trusting her instincts!