The San Mateo Sheriff’s Department dispatched their bomb squad after a local man tried on his Halloween costume and scared the neighbors. The man in was reported to be wearing a gas mask and other related protective gear. It also looked as if he had several grenades dangling from around his neck. Neighbors called law enforcement and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department responded by sending their bomb squad.
When first responders arrived to the scene they proceeded to evacuate residents located within a half block of where the suspect was last seen. Upon further inspection, though, they determined the public had not been in danger. The man in question was identified as Gilberto Masias. Masias is an employee of a local costume shop, they said, and did not realize his dressing up early would set off so many alarms. A department spokesperson said an inactive grenade was found in his car. Masias was cited and released for the offense.
Law enforcement officials continue to underscore that costumes that contain realistic looking weapons can lead to these types of reactions. Not only do they invoke fear among community members, they are also taken very seriously by police officers and sheriff’s deputies. These types of costumes, they said, have a very real possibility of inducing response from law enforcement.