El Centro restaurant evacuated following reports of armed man

El Centro restaurant evacuated following reports of armed man

EL CENTRO, Calif. – The El Centro Police Departments said officers arrested a man after they found him with a homemade firearm he was claiming was a homemade pipe bomb.

Officers said they responded Monday at 6:12 p.m. in the 300 Block of N. Imperial Ave. in El Centro. Police received a call of a man possibly armed with a shotgun inside a McDonald’s restaurant.

When they arrived they found 45-year-old El Centro resident George Cortez and arrested him without incident. A search for the shotgun was conducted and officers located a piece of pipe, shotgun shells, handgun ammunition an a suspicious looking object in the restroom. The restaurant was immediately evacuated and traffic in the area was rerouted for about two hours.

Members from ECPD and the Imperial County Bomb Squad went to the scene after Cortez said the device was a homemade pipe bomb. The device was examined and it was determined to be a homemade firearm.

Cortez was arrested and booked into the Imperial County Jail. He faces felony charges of felon in possession of a firearm and a misdemeanor charge of a felon in possession of ammunition.

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