Members of a Spanish-speaking church in San Rafael, California went into panic mode when a man showed up during the service wearing a jacket that resembled those worn by federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
The incident happened Sunday, June 4, when the man reportedly came into the church and videotaped people inside, and also took pictures on his cellphone in the church parking lot of cars and license plates.
The “novelty” jacket was one he allegedly just purchased online, and is not the same as the actual ICE jackets, but it did have the letters “ICE” written on it, with an official-looking seal on the back.
It was enough to send members of the church into a panic, afraid he was there to pick up someone, and they notified the police.
CBS San Francisco reported that the man is a city employee and was driving a government-registered vehicle, which belongs to the San Francisco International Airport.
Police identified the man Friday and interviewed him. He lives near the church, and said he had prior complaints that had gone unresolved about the loud noise from the church services, so he went there to document it.
Neighbors did agree the services were a little loud, but had no additional complaints about it.
The man, as yet unidentified, gave no explanation for why he wore a fake ICE jacket. He broke no laws in the stunt, but police say they are referring the case to the local District Attorney’s office “for review.”
Despite the fact that he broke no laws, CBS reported that the City of San Francisco has placed the man on leave over the incident.
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