A PetSmart in San Mateo was evacuated Wednesday evening while officers spent about 40 minutes trying to awaken two alleged drug users who had passed out in a vehicle in the parking lot, with what appeared to be a firearm within reach of the driver.
The incident unfolded at 5:42 p.m., when officers responded to the PetSmart at 3520 S. El Camino Real on a report from a caller who was concerned about the occupants. Officers discovered two people sleeping in the vehicle and noticed what appeared to be a firearm wedged in between the driver seat and center console, police said.
Officers backed away from the vehicle and developed a safety plan to safely awaken the occupants. Additional police officers responded to surround the vehicle, evacuate the store and relocate bystanders to safety, police said.
The occupant passed out behind the wheel of the vehicle was recognized by officers as a convicted felon and known Fentanyl user.
“Officers attempted to communicate with the occupants repeatedly, however, they would awaken and then fall back asleep several times – a common side effect of opioid use,” police said.
After they finally regained consciousness, they exited the vehicle and were safely detained. The gun turned out to be a replica firearm, and inside the vehicle officers also found “a hunting knife tucked in between the seats, additional replica firearms, narcotics, and drug paraphernalia.”
The occupants, identified as Deondrea Washington-Simmons, 26, of Foster City, and Sara Rodriguez, 21, of Burlingame, were arrested on multiple drug charges.
Photo from the scene courtesy of the San Mateo Police Department