A California security guard who pulled a gun on an Apple engineer for running over a traffic cone as he was trying to exit a shopping mall parking lot is facing a civil lawsuit seeking damages in part because the mall guard wasn’t even licensed to be carrying a gun.
Nicholas Buchanan, 27, an Apple engineer who resides in San Jose, is seeking damages for inflicting emotional distress, assault, false imprisonment negligence and violation of the “Bane Act,”which alleges a cop violated someone’s constitutional rights by threats or intimidation.
“This is serious business when someone stares you down with a .45 on a Saturday afternoon. He was totally out of control,” explained Richard Alexander, Buchanan’s attorney. “Nothing he did was out of the ordinary other than pulling over a traffic cone.”
“The security guard considered that a capital offense.”
A police report established Francis Abraham-Lancaster Fielding as the security guard whose license and firearms permit had expired six months beforehand.
Buchanan was invited to the mall as a business guest, but got held up in a jam of cars exiting the parking garage.
Neither Westfield Valley Fair Mall or Security Risk Management Inc. are available for comment about their policies regarding employee weapons licensing.
According to the police report, in December 2015, Fielding chased the car driven by Buchanan, who came clean with police, admitting he did run over a traffic cone.
Fielding, apparently alarmed by the cone-crashing, brandished his gun, and ordered Buchanan to get out of the car at gunpoint.
A short while later, a second mall cop arrived and and ordered Buchanan out of the car as well, but he apparently never drew his weapon on the guest.
Police were called to the scene and found Fielding’s state guard license and firearms permit had expired six months prior.
“The fact Fielding was brandishing a weapon and was unlicensed bears closer scrutiny,” Alexander suggested.
“We are all fortunate this didn’t turn out worse than it did.”
San Jose police recommended to the district attorney that Fielding should criminally charged with the crime of unlawful brandishing of a firearm.
Santa Clara County District Attorney declined to file criminal charges against the mall cop, saying there was insufficient evidence.
Richard Alexander said Security Risk Management terminated Fielding immediately after the event.