Hollister Police officers and San Benito County Sheriff’s deputies prepare to enter Round Table Pizza on Tres Pinos Road to confront a suspect who allegedly brandished a weapon at employees Feb. 28. Photo: Chris Mora

Hollister Police arrested a man who brandished a weapon that resembled a semiautomatic handgun at a local restaurant Feb. 28, according to authorities. 

The weapon turned out to be a “realistic looking pellet gun,” and no injuries or damage occurred during the incident, police said. 

About 3pm Feb. 28, Hollister Police officers responded to the 400 block of Tres Pinos Road on reports of a man brandishing a handgun, Hollister Police Department posted on social media. The man was reportedly walking through the parking lot of Round Table Pizza, and had “racked” the gun as though he was loading a round into the chamber. 

A victim told police that the weapon looked like a 9mm handgun, authorities said. 

The suspect hid the gun inside a duffel bag or backpack, then entered Round Table, according to police.

Hollister PD officers and San Benito County Sheriff’s deputies set up a perimeter around the restaurant and began calling into the establishment to advise employees to exit the building, police said. The exiting employees assisted police by offering real-time reports on the subject’s location, and gave the police access to the store’s surveillance system. 

The employees also noted that once inside the restaurant, the suspect had brandished the gun at them, police said. 

Authorities set up an incident command center across the street from Round Table, and diverted traffic from the area, police said. Rancho San Justo School was locked down as a precaution. 

Hollister Fire staged outside while police sent in a tactical team to enter the restaurant and contact the suspect inside, authorities said. As the team entered, the suspect exited through the front door and was confronted by police. 

The suspect, identified as Rodolfo Ayala, 40, was detained and police cleared the area, says the Hollister PD Facebook post. Officers found the gun, and determined it was a pellet gun. 

Ayala was arrested on suspicion of brandishing an imitation firearm in a threatening manner, openly displaying an imitation firearm in public, possession of stolen property and drug offenses, police said. The suspect was booked at San Benito County Jail. 

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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