An inert grenade was found in a man's car after he was pulled over by officers who noticed him driving around in a gas mask.

An inert grenade was found in a man's car after he was pulled over by officers who noticed him driving around in a gas mask.

Man’s early Halloween costume spooks cops

A man wearing a gas mask while driving Monday morning created an alarming scene in downtown San Mateo after officers reportedly found an inactive grenade inside his vehicle.

Just after 9 a.m. on East Fourth Avenue, police said, 29-year-old Gilberto Masias was stopped by officers who said they were alarmed by his apocalyptic-looking headgear. The gas mask might have been part of a Halloween costume, as police said Masias works at a local costume store.

But wearing the mask in broad daylight — and also a full month before Halloween — forced officers to conduct a “high-risk” traffic stop, according to police.

Masias was found in possession of “a realistic-looking grenade,” police Sgt. Dave Norris said. The grenade was in fact real, Norris said, but was found to be inert.

Still, the incident caused quite a stir. A bomb squad investigation forced the evacuation of a half-block area surrounding the grenade, Norris said. Masias was cited for possessing an inert grenade, he added.

Police warned residents “to be mindful” when choosing Halloween costumes.

“At even a short distance, expert police officers may not be able to tell if a realistic-looking weapon is real or not,” Norris said. “Please be smart with your costume choices.”

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsSan FranciscoSan Mateo

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Giants second baseman Donovan Solano scores on a double in the seventh inning against the Dodgers at Oracle Park on July 29. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Will the Giants make the playoffs? Kris Bryant may be the answer

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner You’d be hard-pressed to find… Continue reading

Tiffany Carter, owner of Boug Cali West Coast Creole Shack in San Francisco’s La Cocina Marketplace, was dismayed by gentrification she found when she returned to her hometown to start a business. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF Black Wallstreet: Helping residents build wealth, reclaim spaces they’ve had to leave

Tiffany Carter moved back to her hometown of San Francisco five years… Continue reading

A prescribed fire at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks was conducted in June 2016 to reduce hazardous fuel loading, increase watershed health, and restore the natural fire cycle in the Redwood Canyon area ecosystem. (Photo courtesy Rebecca Paterson/National Park Service)
Experts, UC scientists discuss wildfires in the state’s riskiest regions

Wildfires are nothing new in California’s history, but the magnitude and frequencies… Continue reading

Fourth-grade students at Lucerne Valley Elementary School don masks and Western wear for a “Walk Through California” history day during in-person instruction. (Courtesy of Krystal Nelson)
Confusion over mask mandate for California schools sparks tension between districts and parents

By Diana Lambert EdSource Shifting rules around mask mandates at schools are… Continue reading

Steven Buss, left, and Sachin Agarwal co-founded Grow SF, which plans to produce election voter guides offering a moderate agenda. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Grow SF: New tech group aims to promote moderate ideals to political newcomers

Sachin Agarwal has lived in San Francisco for 15 years. But the… Continue reading

Most Read