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Hero mom uses diversionary taco to save family from harasser

Taco truck in California.
Taco truck in California.
Photo: Konoplytska (iStock Editorial / Getty Images Plus)

Even the L.A Sheriff’s Office was impressed: A mom of four recently warded off a gun-wielding man harassing her family with some inspired taco-inspired distractions. The family was coming home from a water park and stopped at an L.A. food truck for some carne asada tacos. A man came up to them and said that he was an undercover police officer, showing a gun and a badge. According to The L.A. Times, “The man threatened the woman, her husband and the four children and flashed a gun hidden in his waistband.”

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The woman did not believe that the guy was a police officer, and offered him a taco. When he refused, she said she needed napkins, as the man “continued to show his gun and dig through her purse.” She went back to the food truck and “told people working in the truck and customers standing in line to not look at her van but to call 911.” Fellow customers and a taco truck employees called authorities, and the Sheriff’s Department soon arrived.

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Turns out her instincts were spot-on: The suspect, 38-year-old Juan Rodriguez, had multiple outstanding warrants and was arrested “on suspicion of child endangerment and impersonating a police officer.” (When the police cars showed up, he tossed his gun in the family’s car and tried to crawl in.) The L.A. Sheriff’s office said in a statement, “We want to give a shout out to the brave mother whose momma bear instincts kicked in and she was able to deescalate the situation, plan a distraction and found a way to get deputies to her location immediately.” Hear, hear. Turns out there’s a lot to be said for trusting your gut, and using some creative deflection tactics.

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

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DISCUSSION

This mom is great.

However, I was hoping to read that perhaps she tossed the taco, maybe slightly outside of his reach, and being unable to control himself he made a dive for it and then she jumped on him and pistol whipped him with his own gun.

Still awesome, though.