Train evacuated in Solana Beach after rider flashes weapon; deputies arrest man with airsoft gun

Incident occurred about 12 p.m. Friday on NCTD Coaster train in Solana Beach

(File photo)

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a train passenger Friday afternoon, Feb. 18, in Solana Beach after the man allegedly threatened train staff with a pellet gun that first appeared to be a real firearm, authorities said.

The incident began around noon on a North County Transit District Coaster train when a disruptive passenger began shouting profanities at other passengers, including children, according to Sgt. Thomas Byrne from the sheriff’s north coastal station.

When train staff approached the man to try to defuse the situation, he placed his hand on the grip of what appeared to be a handgun concealed in his waistband, Byrne said in a news release. The train employees retreated and began evacuating the train at the Solana Beach Coaster station.

With the train stopped at the transit center, deputies boarded the train and took the armed man into custody, Byrne said. That’s when deputies learned the weapon was an airsoft pellet gun.

Deputies arrested the man, a 27-year-old San Diego resident, on suspicion of making a criminal threat. Jail records showed he was booked Friday afternoon, Feb. 18, into the Vista Detention Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Train service in the area, which was delayed earlier in the day for a fatal crash in Carlsbad, was affected for about an hour, authorities said. Normal train service resumed about 1 p.m., according to Byrne.