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Motorist Jeff Westbrook Says Deputy Erick Gelhaus Pulled Gun On Him In August

The Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy who shot and killed a teenage boy pointed his gun at a driver during a traffic stop in August, according to the motorist.

Deputy Erick Gelhaus shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez after mistaking his toy AK-47 for a real rifle, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Jeff Westbrook claims he was also mistreated by Gelhaus after being pulled over in late August.

The 57-year-old Westbrook was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change. He reportedly was pulled over on a narrow shoulder, but when he offered Gelhaus to move and make more room for him, that’s when the problems began.

“As the car starts to move, he screams ‘Turn the car off,’” Westbrook said in a story on CBS SF Bay Area. “And as I’m still looking at him, he pulls his weapon out, and now he’s just point blank.” Westbrook said the gun’s barrel was a foot from his head.

“I have never had a gun pointed at me,” he added.

The deputy reportedly ordered Westbrook to get out of the car, and it happened again.

“When he asked me if I had weapons, he actually went to the gun the second time,” Westbrook stated.

The incident was reportedly so disturbing that at one point Westbrook actually asked Gelhaus, “Sir, is there something wrong with you?”

Westbrook said he had discussed the incident with Gelhaus’ supervisor, telling the sergeant he had concerns about the deputy’s “emotional stability.” The day after Lopez was killed, Westbrook received an e-mail from Gelhaus’ supervisor saying the deputy would be out of the office “due to unforeseen circumstances.”

Gelhaus reportedly shot Lopez seven times with his .9mm service weapon before his partner even made it out of the car. He told investigators that he could not recall whether or not he identified himself as a law enforcement officer before firing.

Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, CBS SF Bay Area


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