A misunderstanding led to a large law enforcement turnout at Orcutt Burger and a short-term closure of a key intersection in Orcutt on Friday evening.
Just before 5 p.m., the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department received a report that a man with a gun had entered the popular restaurant, according to Cmdr. Rob Plastino.
The incident prompted the temporary closure of the intersection at Clark Avenue and Bradley Road, and other roads in the vicinity.
In addition to deputies, the SWAT and hostage negotiation teams were dispatched to the scene where off-duty detectives also had stopped to provide help.
The detectives realized the subject had a developmental disorder or medical condition, and deputies talked to his brother outside the restaurant, determining the man did not have a weapon.
Deputies asked the subject to exit the restaurant, which had between seven and and nine customers and an unknown number of employees.
“Basically, it was a misunderstanding by a bystander who saw him acting what he thought was erratic,” Plastino said. “But all he was really doing was he was running through the parking lot, and he had in is hand what turned out to be a cellphone
The subject is an adult, and was not taken into custody since no crime was committed.
“We came out because we wanted to make sure the public was safe,” Plastino said. “Once we determined he didn’t have a gun, then obviously it was a misunderstanding.”