Police responded to the couple’s Orange County home in May 2016 after receiving a “call of a possibly suicidal male with a gun.” Tarek, 36, allegedly ran from the home with a firearm, only dropping the weapon when a helicopter spotted him and officers commanded him to do so. He allegedly told officers he did not intend to harm himself, but wanted to “blow off some steam.”
A witness said that Christina was “crying and shaking” as she ran to someone working at a neighbor’s residence and informed him that Tarek “took a handgun, put it in his backpack and ran outside.” Christina said she had already called 911.
Six months later, the Flip or Flop stars — who wed in 2009 share two children — officially filed for separation.
“It just made me realize that us being separated was healthier for both of us,” Christina told PEOPLE.
During an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show airing Friday, Tarek chalks the incident up to “a huge misunderstanding on her part,” referencing Christina, 34.
“I had bought two mountain bikes. I sent my neighbor a text. I said, ‘Can I borrow your bikes, because I want to go scout trails.’ He wasn’t home. I have a CCW, California Concealed Carry, which means I can legally carry a firearm. I live in the canyons where there’s wildlife and bobcats and mountain lions and I literally went on a hike,” he explains.
“The next thing I know there’s a sheriff’s helicopter circling and I’m like, ‘Geez, what are these guys doing?’ and I’m like, ‘They must be looking for somebody bad.’ Then I realize, ‘Well, wait a minute he was looking for me,’ and next thing I know I see 11 sheriffs around me and off-road vehicles and guns on me,” he adds. “I’m like, ‘Wait, am I the guy? I think I’m the guy. What did I do?’ That’s what happened that day.”
“I thought you were suicidal or something else was going on,” Dr. Oz says.
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“No, I literally I have the text to prove it,” Tarek replies. “That’s why I showed the police. They’re, like, ‘I’m sorry, man.’ I literally was trying to scout trails. I had just bought a mountain bike so I went on a hike. Sure, I was having a rough day, and I was trying to blow off steam, and that’s what I did. So it was a surreal experience. It was like my life was in slow motion, my life paused for a moment, and it was like I was living a movie.”