Pacific Park has now re-opened to visitors upon receiving an all-clear status by the Santa Monica Police Department. Guest and employee evacuation procedures were initiated due to an unknown individual in a restricted area at the Ferris wheel.
Pacific Park continues working closely with the Santa Monica Police Department, the Santa Monica Fire Department, and other law enforcement agencies. We are grateful for their speedy response, direction, and leadership.
Pacific Park’s top priority is the safety of its employees and guests. This is an active investigation and Pacific Park is not able to discuss the details of the situation.
All media inquiries should be directed to the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-395-9931.
On October 10, 2023, the Santa Monica Police Department released this statement:
Pier Threats Suspect- IN CUSTODY
At about 2:35 pm on October 9, 2023, the Santa Monica Police Department received a radio call of a distraught male subject climbing the Ferris wheel in Pacific Park on the Pier. A witness told officers that the man claimed to have a bomb in his backpack. Officers found the subject, later identified as 37-year-old Juan Gonzalez of Garden Grove, approximately two-thirds of the way up the Ferris wheel in the steel supports. There were approximately ten riders on the wheel, which had to be stopped with Gonzalez in the support structure.
While the Santa Monica Fire Department worked to rescue the riders in the wheel’s gondolas, members of the SMPD Crisis Negotiation Team contacted Gonzalez and started talking him down to the Pier Deck. During those negotiations, Gonzalez was very agitated and upset and continued to make bomb threats to the officers negotiating with him. The incident lasted for more than an hour before Gonzalez climbed down low enough for officers to take him into custody. Gonzalez was not in possession of an explosive device or any other weapons.
Based on the multiple threats made to witnesses as well as the continued bomb threats articulated by Gonzalez to the officers on scene, Gonzalez was placed under arrest for criminal threats (a felony), making a false bomb threat to authorities, and resisting arrest. He was evaluated by the Fire Department on-scene and transported to the Santa Monica Jail for booking. The case will be presented to the District Attorney for filing on the threats charges.
The Santa Monica Police Department thanks the members of the SMFD, Santa Monica’s Office of Emergency Management, and the professionals at the Pier and Pacific Park for their coordination and cooperation in the successful outcome of yesterday’s incident and subsequent arrest.
For more information, please visit santamonicapd.org