Rohnert Park police draw guns at supermarket on mistaken call

Three Latino men standing in the checkout line at Food Maxx in Rohnert Park reportedly buying bananas and iced coffee were detained at gunpoint by police Thursday afternoon.

More than a dozen officers rushed into the store. Shoppers dropped where they stood in the aisles.

“The cops came in and ordered them to the ground,” said Anne Jordan, who was shopping at the store in the 600-block of Rohnert Park Expressway and recalled the men’s choice of fruit and beverage. “The men didn’t want to get down. I thought there was going to be a shootout.”

Rohnert Park officers ordered the unidentified men onto the ground at gunpoint and handcuffed them.

The men were released after officers found no weapons and no outstanding warrants for them.

The incident began around 4:45 p.m. when Rohnert Park Public Safety received a call about a man brandishing a weapon in the Food Maxx parking lot and threatening a man and his daughters, Rohnert Park Public Safety Sgt. Kelly Koffler said Sunday. Since the call came in just before a shift change, police were able to respond with significant numbers.

Jordan counted seven police cars and more than 14 officers on the scene.

When police arrived, they spotted a car matching the description of the one called in, Koffler said. Once inside the supermarket, police saw three Latino men in the checkout line matching the description they had been given.

Police ordered the men to raise their hands, Koffler said. Instead, they put their hands in their pockets and refused to comply, he said. At that point, Koffler said officers drew their weapons and forced the three men onto their stomachs and handcuffed them.

“We take these calls very seriously,” Koffler said. “We received word that a man was threatening people with a gun in public. We responded appropriately.”

The three men were not known to Rohnert Park Public Safety before the incident, Koffler said. They were released when no weapons were found on their persons or in their vehicle, he said.

You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or On Twitter @nrahaim.

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