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Naked man, Coco Bennett, confronts police with sword, assault rifle

10:03 AM, Jan 2, 2013   |    comments
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SAN JOSE (CBS SF) - A man with an assault rifle in his car removed his clothes and brandished a Samurai sword at police in west San Jose for more than two hours before he was arrested while trying to flee, a San Jose police spokesman said.

Coco Bennett, 29, of unknown residence, was arrested on suspicion of brandishing a weapon and possession of an assault rifle, San Jose police spokesman Officer Albert Morales said.

Police recovered an AR-15-type assault rifle, with a magazine and live ammunition, from Bennett's car during the standoff at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail station on Bascom Avenue and Southwest Expressway, Morales said.

The incident began several miles to the east at 8:05 a.m. when police answered a report that a person was armed with an assault rifle in front of a residence near Ezie Street and Cas Drive in east San Jose, Morales said.

When police reached the residence the suspect was not there, but based on a description by witnesses of the suspect's pickup truck, patrol officers spotted the vehicle near the VTA station at about 8:30 a.m., Morales said.

The suspect drove into the station's parking lot, began to take off his clothing and emerged from the truck naked while brandishing an unsheathed Samurai sword at officers, Morales said.

"He said 'You're going to have to kill me'" to the officers, Morales said.

Officers closed the rail station, secured the immediate area and recovered the assault rifle, magazine and bullets from the pickup truck, Morales said.

Police notified the department's Crisis Intervention Team, which sent members over to talk to the suspect into giving up, Morales said.

"The thing we have on our side is time," Morales said of the more than two-hour negotiation that that followed.

"There is no sense in rushing it," Morales said. "Ultimately, we wanted him to drop the sword."

The crisis team attempted to cajole the nude suspect into standing down as a crowd of bystanders and "a lot of media" gathered at the scene, Morales said.

Finally at 11 a.m. the suspect, still carrying the sword, bolted toward a fence and tried to scale it, fell down, dropped the weapon, was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for treatment for minor injuries, Morales said.

Police were trying to determine what may have prompted the suspect to act the way he did, including his state of mental health and whether drugs or alcohol were factors, Morales said.

Some people in the neighborhood of Ezie Street and Cas Drive, where the original call came from, knew Bennett, Morales said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)

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