CHULA VISTA, Calif. – A 22-year-old Lakeside man is facing multiple firearms-related charges after he was arrested Friday at a downtown Chula Vista block party, police said.
About 5:20 p.m., officers noticed a person they perceived to be “suspicious” more than an hour after the Chula Vista Block Party on Third Avenue had begun, Chula Vista police Sgt. Anthony Molina said. They saw the man, later identified as Ralph Fojo, was wearing a crossbody bag and started keeping an eye on him.
When officers noticed the bull of a firearm sticking out of Fojo’s bag, they determined it gave them probable cause to pat him down, Molina said.
Officers asked Fojo if he was carrying a gun and he responded that he wasn’t. But upon the patdown, officers discovered a gun and seven rounds of ammunition, according to Molina, and it was determined the weapon was an unserialized firearm, popularly known as a “ghost gun.”
Fojo was arrested shortly thereafter and now faces a half-dozen charges, including carrying a loaded firearm in a public place, carrying a loaded firearm and not being the registered owner and possession of an assault weapon, among others. His motive for bringing the firearm to the event is being investigated.
Molina said the agency released the information on the arrest Saturday not to scare the community, but to inform them of the training efforts of officers and special units for large events “to prioritize safety.”
The inaugural block party to kick off the summer season drew hundreds of people to the city’s downtown corridor with live music, food vendors and large screens showing the Padres playing in the club’s new City Connect jerseys, which were heavily marketed during the event.
No further information on the arrest was immediately shared.