A man accused of threatening Home Depot employees with an airsoft pistol in Santee was arrested Thursday when he was found hiding in the bathroom of a nearby restaurant.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) received reports at around 6:20 p.m. of a man armed with a weapon near a Home Depot on Town Center Parkway. An SDSO helicopter began patrolling the area, which is filled with stores and restaurants.
SDSO Sgt. Mike McNeil said the suspect had confronted Home Depot employees in the store's parking lot after an employee questioned the suspect about a possible theft. The suspect threatened one of the employees with a gun. McNeil said the weapon was later determined to be an airsoft pistol.
The suspect fled after the confrontation, making his way to an IHOP restaurant on Mission Gorge Road, about one-third of a mile away.
About 30 minutes later, deputies found the suspect hiding in the bathroom at the IHOP. McNeil said the suspect was taken into custody at the restaurant for brandishing a weapon, making criminal threats and resisting arrest.
McNeil said the suspect did not steal anything.
No one was hurt in the incident.
No further details, including the suspect's name, were released.