Valentine's Day dinner doesn't turn deadly thanks to off-duty cop

In middle of a Valentine's Day dinner with his family, Stockton Police Officer Joe Silva was able to stop an argument from escalating into a shooting in the middle of a busy Stockton restaurant Friday night.

Silva was eating in the restaurant portion of Arroyo's Cafe, located at 2381 W. March Lane, around 7:21 p.m. when he saw a man threaten patrons at the bar with a gun, Senior Staff Sgt. Toby Will said. Silva, who was off-duty, drew his gun and held the suspect at gunpoint until officers responded to the scene.

Will said Ruben Marroquin Acosta, 46, got into an argument with a few other men at the restaurant's bar because he didn't like the way they were talking to some women. Acosta was at the bar with a woman, but it is unclear if the men talked to her, Will said. Her relationship to Acosta is also unclear.

The argument got heated. That's when Acosta pulled out a gun and threatened people at the bar.

When officers arrived at the scene, they arrested Acosta. Will said Acosta was booked into San Joaquin County Jail for assault with a firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.

Police also arrested Aurora Mercado, 31, at the restaurant for carrying a concealed weapon. It is unclear how she is connected to the incident.

Silva is the public information officer for the Stockton Police Department and a former homicide detective.


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