Man Mistaken for Manhunt Suspect

Suspect description similar to man seen in hotel parking lot, police said

In the midst of a state-wide manhunt for the suspect in multiple shootings, a man mistaken for the suspect was surrounded by police and handcuffed briefly.

Just before 10:30 a.m. Thursday, an individual at the Holiday Inn on North Harbor Drive called police after seeing someone who matched the description of Christopher Dorner -- the former Navy reservist tied to a double homicide in Irvine on Sunday and a series of police officer shootings earlier Thursday.

CLICK HERE for comprehensive coverage of the search for Dorner.

The hotel was less than a block away from where dozens of law enforcement agents were gathering at Naval Base Point Loma at the same time.

Police located the man and told him to drop his cell phone and put his hands in the air. Police put him in handcuffs as he told them he had just landed in San Diego less than an hour ago.

They later learned that the man was Portland, Ore. resident Greg Pruitt, not Dorner.

In a brief press conference following the incident, an SDPD spokesperson said Pruitt was just "in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Pruitt said he was sitting in his car in the hotel parking lot when he noticed a police officer out of the corner of his eye with a gun, but didn’t think anything of it.

“All of a sudden I turn around and look back and see another [officer] behind a tree with a machine gun and thought, ‘this is not good,’” he said.

When he realized the officers were aiming their weapons at him, he dropped his cell phone and held his hands above his head. Police handcuffed him and looked at the contents in his wallet before releasing him.

“I didn’t even want to breath,” he told NBC 7 after the incident. “You have guns pointed at you, you don’t move, you don’t breath you don’t blink you don’t ask why, you just do what you’re told.”

Pruitt said he used to live in San Diego, and was not surprised by the police activity.

Later, police said they were expecting more calls reporting men with similar descriptions as the suspect descriptions as the manhunt continues. SDPD Lt. Joseph Ramos urged residents to take a deep breath and make sure the description matches if they think they see the suspect.

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