Gregory Wong, 31, was dropped off by an Uber right across from LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, where he allegedly attempted to get into formation with a unit of National Guard soldiers who were defending the area from looters, FOX 11 reported.
Actual soldiers noticed he was holding an AR-15 rifle instead of an M4 or M16, which the National Guard normally carries, the station reported. Officials said he was found with a cache of weapons, including high-end tactical gear such as night-vision goggles and a sidearm.
“No one I know in the military would do anything so stupid, he kitted himself out as if he was ready to go to Afghanistan and kick in doors,” said former reservist Jeremy Ma, who knows Wong through the airsoft community, according to FOX 11.
“I’m a former national guardsman, the National Guard deploy with their uniforms, body armor, riot helmets, and one weapon, usually a sidearm or a long arm, he showed up with a sidearm and a long arm, his equipment that carried his body armor was the wrong color, he essentially had a lot of extra equipment,”he said.
The Los Angeles Police Department said they don’t believe Wong intended to cause any harm and he never left formation, according to FOX 11.
Ma told the station that Wong had been posting on Facebook relaying he was ready to defend stores in the area from looters. After being placed in police custody, Wong allegedly told authorities his goal was to defend a downtown jewelry store.
“And he was not getting very much response from that and maybe he expressed a bit of frustration,” Ma claimed, according to FOX 11.
Wong was booked on suspicion of manufacturing or possession of an illegal assault weapon. He’s currently being held on a $50,000 bond, the station reported.