A 60-year-old man was arrested Thursday in Santa Cruz for brandishing a replica handgun and threatening co-workers at a vending machine company in a dispute over drug paraphernalia, a police official said. Arthur Bischoff, of Santa Cruz, was booked into the Santa Cruz County Jail on suspicion of brandishing a replica firearm and making criminal threats, according to Santa Cruz police Deputy Chief Steve Clark. Employees of Santa Cruz Vending at 117 Post St. contacted police at about noon Thursday to report that they had evacuated the business after Bischoff pulled out a handgun and threatened them, Clark said. (continued below photo)
The suspect, who lived at the site of the business, had complained that some drug paraphernalia he owned had been destroyed, according to police. With Bischoff the only person left inside the business, police set up a perimeter around the building and SWAT officers assembled at the scene to contact and locate the suspect, Clark reported. The man surrendered peacefully and police recovered from him a replica Heckler & Koch brand BB gun that looked exactly like a real handgun, but the fluorescent orange barrel tip normally placed on replica guns had been removed, police said.
The incident snarled traffic in the vicinity for about an hour before police were ready to declare the area safe for travel, Clark said.
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