The Bakersfield man arrested on suspicion of two recent false reports of an active shooter at Bakersfield hospitals denied impersonating a police officer or falsely reporting an active shooter to police.
46-year-old Mario Thompson of Bakersfield was arrested Wednesday for reporting a false emergency, being a felon in possession of pepper spray, possession of a controlled substance, impersonating an officer, and possession of a pellet gun.
“I was being treated at the hospital for pain and there was a lady going crazy so I got help. That’s all I did.” Thompson said, adding a “hostile situation came about, so a nurse said there was a shooter outside. somebody activated the code [black] so they were thinking I was security because I was wearing a yellow cone jacket. So then I helped out with security there.”
When Thompson was asked if he had told anybody whether he was a police officer or hospital security guard, he acknowledged telling people he was a loss prevention officer.
“I just wanted to help,” he said. “That’s all. I didn’t mean no harm or anything. I really apologize for that. I really do. I didn’t realize the impact it caused. If I caused anything like that I’m really sorry.”
In the interview, he later said he does not work for an official company, instead claiming he works as a volunteer in Santa Monica preventing shoplifting and theft.
Asked about whether he made any calls to law enforcement, Thompson denied doing so.
“No. No I did not make any calls to the police [about an] active shooter at all,” he said.
Thompson confirmed he was at Mercy Southwest Hospital on Aug. 1 — the date that hospital when on lockdown following a false report of an active shooter — but Thompson said he had nothing to do with it.
“I was there for treatment, for pain. I was there, but I did not activate anything.”
Thompson, who has a prior criminal record, said he was diagnosed with a mental condition a few years ago, but he could not recall the name of the condition. He noted he needs counseling.
Thompson’s bail is set at $100,000. His hearing is scheduled for Thurs, Dec. 6, at 3 pm. The full interview can be found on KGET.com.