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Guido Herrera wore a leather mask with spikes and carried a rifle when he was tackled by Kendrick Simpo, an off-duty police sergeant moonlighting as a security guard. (Photo: Houston Police Department)
A Texas man who was tackled in a Houston mall in February while carrying a rifle and 120 rounds of ammunition near a children’s event was sentenced to six months in prison for the incident ― which was only charged as a misdemeanor because he never fired his weapon.
Surveillance video from the Feb. 5 incident showed the suspect ― identified as Guido Herrera ― within just a few feet of hundreds of children participating in a dance competition at the Galleria mall. Herrera was wearing a leather mask with spikes and a shirt with the Punisher logo on it. He carried a rifle in one hand and a Bible in the other.
That was when Kendrick Simpo ― an off-duty police sergeant who was working his second job as a security guard ― rushed Herrera and pinned him against a wall.
“I quickly bum rushed, tackled him,” Simpo told local station ABC 13. “And my first reaction was to make sure that I get a hold of the rifle. No matter what I grabbed, make sure I grabbed that rifle. I had in my mind [that] I was going to get shot. I just had to bear the pain, I knew it was going to hurt, and I was like, ‘Whatever I do, I cannot let go of this rifle.’”
Simpo was able to hold Herrera until backup arrived and an arrest was made. Police also found 120 rounds of ammunition and another handgun. But under Texas law, because Herrera never fired a shot, he was only slapped with a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge.
Herrera was also charged for a separate incident a month later, on March 18, when authorities say he showed up at the FBI headquarters in Houston demanding to speak to the agency’s director. Authorities say they found a gun in his car, but again, were only able to charge him with the misdemeanor of unlawfully carrying a weapon, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“His circumstance kind of fell in the gaps,” prosecutor Barbara Mousset said at Herrera’s sentencing Thursday, according to the Chronicle. “He took advantage of some technicalities in the law — he had the right to have that firearm and ultimately this was the only charge that we could get him on.”
Defense attorney Armen Merjanian called Herrera a “gun-loving Texan” who had a right to possess the weapons.
Herrera was sentenced to an additional year on the possession charge, bringing his total sentence to 18 months, with credit for time served.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.