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California Man Detained by Off-Duty Cop Says He Feared He Was Being Robbed After Officer Failed to Identify Himself 

Police in Stockton, California, said they’re reviewing an incident where an off-duty officer detained a motorist at gunpoint following a traffic incident late last month.

Stockton Police Department

An off-duty Stockton Police Department officer was caught on video detaining a driver at gunpoint on the side of the road. (Tim Swope / Facebook video screenshot)

Much of the harrowing encounter was captured on bystander video.

Stockton Police said the incident unfolded May 25 when an off-duty officer spotted an SUV pulling a U-Haul trailer driving erratically on Highway 99. The vehicle was headed westbound when authorities say the driver, 26-year-old James Weaver, “intentionally swerved” at the officer’s vehicle.

A clip from the incident, posted by Facebook user Tim Swope, shows the cop, identified by CBS Sacramento as Kevin Hachler, with his gun drawn while ordering Weaver to lie down on the ground.

“Don’t move,” the officer says. “I’m not going to keep telling you.”

Swope, who filmed the incident, repeatedly asks Hachler what the problem is, but gets no answer. Weaver, still down on the ground, is then heard accusing the officer of attempting to run him off the road.

“And you’re a cop?!” he asks in disbelief. “What’s your badge number? You’ve gotta give me your f—–g badge number.”

The driver told CBS Sacramento he and his friends were towing a trailer from Reno to Stockon to buy a car. When Weaver switched lanes, he said someone driving a pickup flashed an obscene gesture at him.

“I don’t believe I cut him off when switching lanes,” he told the station. “I think he just didn’t want to be behind us with the trailer because of the speed we were maintaining.”

Weaver said the driver of pickup tailed him for nearly 45 minutes until he pulled over to the side of the road. He said it wasn’t until he was face down on the ground that Hachler identified himself as an officer.

“And he grabs me by the back of the shirt like this and points the gun at my chest,” Weaver recalled. “At this point, we are thinking we’re being robbed because he hasn’t identified himself as a police officer.”

Stockton Police gave a slightly different account of the incident. According to the department, Hachler contacted California Highway Police after he said Weaver crossed multiple lanes of traffic, then intentionally swerved at him after getting onto westbound Highway 4.

Hachler followed Weaver off the highway and into downtown Stockton, where the young man pulled over and parked. Three people exited the SUV Weaver was driving, after which Hachler got out of his pickup as well. The officer claims Weaver then started walking toward his truck with one hand in his pocket.

That’s when Hachler said he announced himself as an officer, drew his gun and detained Weaver at gunpoint until uniformed CHP officers arrived. The young man was later arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon and reckless driving.

Stockton news blog 209 Times reported that the charges were dropped May 31 after Weaver bailed out of jail.

Stockton police say the case remains under administrative review.

Watch more in the video below.

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