PLANO, Texas - A man waving a samurai sword refused to go quietly Thursday and had to be taken down using non-lethal force by Plano police.
Police say Charles Vincent Chiquillo was wearing a ninja mask, cape and some kind of protective vest while wielding a sword as he walked down Independence Parkway near Hagen Street just before 10 a.m.
People passing by called 911 and officers arrived and worked on trying to get him to peacefully surrender. Police closed down Independence Parkway in both directions when Chiquillo moved into the street.
“When you're dealing with someone with a sword, you want to keep your distance away,” said Plano Police Officer David Tilley. “So a taser isn’t a viable option.”
By the time officers arrived, the masked man was at the intersection of Hagen Drive. He could be seen on video striking different poses with the sword.
“Every once in a while he would get into some kind of defensive stance, he didn't want to surrender,” said witness Daniel Stockham, who recorded parts of the incident on his smartphone.
Police said it was clear early on, after trying to talk to Chiquillo, they were dealing with someone who may be on drugs or have a mental condition. Relying on crisis intervention training, officers decided to use non-lethal force -- a gun that shoots small rubber projectiles.
Stockham said officers fired three times.
“That convinced him to surrender and he put his sword down and got down on his hands and knees,” Stockham said.
Once he was taken into custody, Chiquillo's belongings were spread out on the sidewalk for investigators. The samurai sword lay among dress shoes and a white karate belt.
It was a bizarre encounter that ended peacefully, fortunately.
“They were having some difficulty having some dialogue between him. It was at that point in time that they believed this individual might be on narcotics or had some kind of mental impairment,” Tilley said. “Had this individual become agitated and charged one of our officers with that sword, and they might have been forced to use deadly force, this could have turned out a lot worse than it did.”
Chiquillo, 25, is now facing charges for assaulting a public servant and unlawfully carrying a weapon. He is being held on bonds totaling more than $10,000.