A man armed with a knife barricaded himself inside a restaurant in El Cajon Saturday morning as police tried different tactics to get him to surrender peacefully – including luring him with cigarettes.
Jonathan Landa, owner associate/CFO of El Cilantro eatery, said a man entered the business in the 1200 block of East Madison Avenue near North 2nd Street at around 8:30 a.m. and made his way into the kitchen.
He said described the suspect as appearing “out of his senses, very chaotic, talking to himself or someone else.”
A chef working at the business confronted the man and the suspect then grabbed a knife, Landa said. Video captured by security cameras at El Cilantro show the man, wearing a bright orange shirt, pacing through the eatery, holding the large kitchen knife.
Landa said the chef quickly left the restaurant and called him to report what was happening. The chef then called police for help.
Officers with the El Cajon Police Department (ECPD) soon arrived to find the suspect holed up in the restaurant. Police tried to speak with the man and negotiate his surrender.
Surveillance video given to NBC 7 by Landa show the suspect opening and closing the front door to the eatery, knife in hand, talking to police.
Landa said police offered the suspect cigarettes to get him to come out of the restaurant peacefully, throwing them out to the suspect one by one.
“It was a very good tactic because they ended up being successful,” Landa explained.
When the man came outside to pick up a cigarette, officers deployed bean bags, hitting him in the chest. He went back inside the restaurant but soon came out again. At that point, police were able to arrest him without further incident.
The man’s name was not immediately released. NBC 7 has reached out to the ECPD for further details.
Landa said no one inside the restaurant was hurt.