Video: Calif. LEO talks down knife-wielding man hunting cops at airport

Dominic Fracassa San Francisco Chronicle

OAKLAND, Calif. — A 27-year-old man was arrested at Oakland International Airport on Sunday morning after he brandished a small knife he said he intended to use to harm a police officer, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office said.

Fabian Rocha-Ruiz can be seen on surveillance video released by the Sheriff’s Office apparently looking into a parked patrol car.

Sgt. Ray Kelly said Sunday that “luckily our deputies were not in the car. They were out on foot patrol.”

One deputy eventually made contact with Rocha-Ruiz and brandished her gun after seeing the knife, Kelly said. Rocha-Ruiz allegedly refused to comply with the deputy’s demand to drop the knife.

“It looks like he’s going to comply, but he changes his mind, picks up the knife again and starts moving forward toward her,” Kelly said.

Several more deputies responded to the scene and were able to de-escalate the tense encounter by getting Rocha-Ruiz to drop the knife and submit to an arrest, Kelly said. The entire incident lasted less than four minutes.

Rocha-Ruiz was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a weapon and making criminal threats.

He “spontaneously stated upon his arrest” that he had gone to the airport to harm a cop, and “maybe other people at the airport,” Kelly said.

OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL- About 8:45 am, the pictured suspect, Fabian Rocha-Ruiz (27), approached parked ACSO vehicles armed with a knife. The vehicles were not occupied because deputies were patrolling Terminal 1 on foot. Deputies were alerted to Ruiz where they saw him armed with a folding knife. When confronted, he initially dropped the knife but became uncooperative and picked it back up. He began to walk toward the female deputy with the knife as she had her firearm withdrawn from a safe distance. He then turned and walked away from her toward the patrol cars. Additional deputies arrived on scene and after several tense moments were able to de-escalate the situation and get Ruiz into custody without incident. He later told deputies he had come to the airport to kill one of them and believed they would likely kill him in return. We are very thankful this ended peacefully. Our deputy and her partners did an outstanding job de-escalating this potentially deadly situation. Ruiz has been placed under arrest for several charges including brandishing a weapon and criminal threats. Sgt. Ray Kelly Public Information Officer

Posted by Alameda County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, March 10, 2019


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