SANTA ANA, Calif. – Authorities made a startling discovery at a California park on Monday, Dec. 10, where a man had been living in a storage room with a cache of weapons.
The president of a local youth softball league, along with a coach, were getting ready for a practice at Carl Thornton Park when they went into a small storage room near a baseball field, according to KTLA.
There they encountered Ruben Perez, 37, who had apparently broken into the storage room and started living there, according to Santa Ana Police.
Some people who go to the park regularly said they had seen him there for about four or five days.
According to police, when the president of the league and the coach confronted Perez, telling him he wasn't allowed to be there, Perez reportedly threatened to get his "strap."
They called police, who arrived and found Perez was in possession of a handgun, multiple magazines, and about 600 rounds ammunition.
Police said Perez is a felon, and cannot legally possess the weapon, and they also believe he had stolen the items.
"We don't know what his intent was, but obviously for us, it's concerning that he was living inside a park where we have lots of kids, lots of sports activities going on as well as people trying to enjoy the park," Anthony Bertagna with the Santa Ana Police Department said.
"If one of those girls would've grabbed their equipment out of that room, he could've held them hostage," Santa Ana resident Marina Sorensen said. "Oh, the thought of it now. It's horrible."
Perez was booked on a number of counts including being a felon in possession of a firearm.