Happy Camp man arrested after confrontation with realistic-looking BB gun

Happy Camp, Calif. — A Happy Camp man was arrested Thursday, after walking onto another person’s property with what appeared to be a gun in his pocket.

A deputy with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office and a California Highway Patrol officer responded to the 1400 block of Curly Jack Road in Happy Camp Thursday afternoon when dispatch received a report of a man with a gun. When they arrived, they contacted Brett Christopher Rhodes who had an active felony warrant.

According to the sheriff’s office, when a deputy approached Rhodes, he walked behind a camp trailer and came out from behind it with his hands in the pockets of his jacket.

Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey says Rhodes was ordered to show his hands and he refused.

“[He] became increasingly belligerent, and he appeared to be purposely reaching into his pocket attempting to retrieve an unidentified object while held at gunpoint by both peace officers,” Sheriff Lopey wrote in a press release.

The sheriff says the man then took off and ran toward nearby homes.

“He attempted to enter a residence but the door was locked by the occupants as the deputy positioned himself in an effort to prevent him from presenting a threat to the homeowners,” Sheriff Lopey said, “Mr. Rhodes refused to comply with orders of the deputy and a Taser device was used to gain his compliance and to take him into custody; however, the Taser deployment had no impact on the suspect. A second Taser deployment also had no effect on Mr. Rhodes. Mr. Rhodes cursed and taunted the deputy and officer and refused to take off his jacket or reveal what was in the one pocket, which the deputy observed to look like an object forming the shape of a possible handgun.”

During the altercation residents of a nearby home were told to take cover in the rear area of their home in the event shots were fired. A CHP officer attempted to deploy a Taser a third time, but the sheriff’s office says it was ineffective as well. Eventually, the deputy and officer were able to tackle Rhodes and get him into custody, where they say they found a realistic-looking BB gun in one of his jacket pockets.

On Friday, the sheriff commended the officers’ actions during the high-risk call.

“The facsimile BB gun looked like a real handgun and the suspects aggressive, belligerent, and resistant actions endangered the safety of the involved peace officers and nearby residents,” Sheriff Lopey said, “These courageous peace officers avoided using deadly force in a situation that was tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving – Both used non-lethal and lesser means of force to subdue Mr. Rhodes, which is very commendable under the difficult circumstances they encountered. The dispatch report received by SCSO and CHP revealed the suspect was armed with what the reporting party thought was a real handgun. Mr. Rhodes’ refusal to surrender the facsimile firearm, coupled with his other unlawful actions, could have led to a very tragic outcome.”

Rhodes was booked at the Siskiyou County Jail on the felony warrant as well as additional charges of resisting, obstructing, and delaying a peace officer in the line of duty, possession of drug paraphernalia, and for being under the influence of a controlled substance.

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