By Emily Turner

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — A man wearing a jacket that resembled one worn by federal
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents caused a stir at a San Rafael church during a Spanish-speaking service, police said.

The June 4 incident got the attention of the Canal Community Alliance and Congressman Jared Huffman’s office. Police contacted ICE and the FBI and learned the man was not employed by either law enforcement organization.

But the man is a San Francisco city employee and was placed on leave after he showed up wearing the jacket during the Spanish-language service at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.

The man was driving a government vehicle registered to the city of San Francisco when he showed up at the church. The vehicle belongs to the San Francisco International Airport, city officials confirmed.

The man allegedly took pictures on a cellphone in the church parking lot and videotaped the people inside of the church, police Lt. Raffaello Pata said.

His jacket had ‘ICE’ written on it with an official looking emblem or seal on the back, Pata said.

While the man was not an ICE agent, he looked enough like one that he scared the congregation at their Sunday evening service and the incident sparked a police investigation.

Lucia Martel-Dow with the Canal Community Alliance said, “This person — out of I don’t what kind of motivations — decided to scare them and make them feel uncomfortable knowing this is something very sensitive for the Latino and Hispanic community right now.”

On Friday, police identified the man, who lives near the church.

The man told police he had prior unresolved complaints about amplified noise from the church services and went there to document it.

He could not readily explain why he wore the ICE jacket that he recently purchased online, Pata said.

Detectives learned the jacket is a novelty item that does not closely resemble the actual ICE jackets, Pata said.

But while neighbors agree it is a little loud, they also say this response is uncalled for.

Scott Stokes lives next to the church and said he doesn’t have a problem with the noise.

In fact, he finds the enthusiastic sounds emanating from the building quite enjoyable.

“If it makes them happy, I’m all with them,” Stokes said.

The unidentified man did not violate any state or federal laws, but police are referring the case to the Marin County District Attorney’s Office for review, Pata said.

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Comments (66)
  1. Stu Pedasso says:

    I don’t care who you are, THAT’S funny!

  2. If he didn’t violate any law, why do they feel the need to investigate him?

    1. Ask the DNC why they are investigating the POTUS, it’s what Democrats do when they get butt-hurt…or they start shooting.

    2. Susan Wensel says:

      He didn’t violate any *state* or *federal* laws. That doesn’t mean he didn’t violate any *local* laws.

      At the very least he could be found guilty of harassment. Even though the jacket doesn’t look like the real ICE jacket, it together with his behavior made people think he was with ICE, so I’m surprised he didn’t get impersonating an officer charges.

  3. Those jackets should be the new “red cap.”

  4. Mike Herman says:

    That would be like wearing a DEA jacket at a Democrat protest march.

  5. Mike Herman says:

    Maybe he was selling slushies.

  6. If they were in the USA LEGALLY they wouldn’t have to worry. KICK THEM ALL OUT.

    1. larryc213 says:

      Teri Davis Newman, I agree 100%.

  7. Mike Herman says:

    So his crime is “making them feel uncomfortable”? Shouldn’t we want all lawbreakers to feel uncomfortable?

  8. Where can I get one of those jackets?

  9. Gerald James says:

    Every person on Earth deserves to be treated in a humane and dignified way. This includes being able to worship. I will readily admit that America has a problem with illegal immigrants but I will argue that it was wrong, very wrong for worshipers to have been harassed. The person who entered the Church and for the purpose of causing fright is not only wrong, I would consider it a form of blasphemy This is my personal opinion.

  10. They better not go to Costa Rica. The National Electric Company is ICE. On cars trucks jackets, everywhere.

  11. Dan Roth says:

    This country is nuts. If someone who looks like an ICE agent enters a church and scares the people there we attack the guy as being bad for scaring all the illegals instead of the illegals who complain about even being called illegals which is what they are. It is insane and tells me the country is on the road to real collapse! How much longer can this nonsense of living in fantasyland go on until it all falls apart.

  12. lol, you get arrested for scaring illegals. Just wonderful. We are headed for another revolution.

  13. There are 4 reasons why Democrats love illegals’
    1. They are not white…
    2. They come here pre-dependent on the government…
    3. They will vote Democrat…
    4. They will disrupt the social balance of America…

    Because of this, living in SoCal, I’ve seen far too many illegals come in and damage our neighborhoods and towns. Crime has risen, property values have fallen, and the influx of minimum wage workers takes jobs from high schoolers..

    NewsFlash! We can no longer afford this. America is struggling enough as it is. Most of us are making below living wage and just had our health insurance forcefully taken away. My health insurance is up to $550/month; compare this to my $25/month car insurance (from Insurance Panda) or my $13/month renters insurance. Both private enterprise (take note, Dems).

    Democrats… Never has America had a group that so hated her and for which she stands…

    1. Not sure if there is room for your common sense in CA. Please get inline with the rest of the bots and celebrate open borders, government dependency and the destruction of western civilization. I believe the state has changed its’ mascot from the bear to a toilet. Please flush and go quietly.

  14. blenderrecipes says:

    Why would they be scared unless they are breaking the law by being here illegally.
    Gotta get me an ICE jacket for my next trip to Home Depot, should be fun 🙂

  15. “While the man was not an ICE agent, he looked enough like one that he scared the congregation at their Sunday evening service and the incident sparked a police investigation.”

    So people in the church can tell what a person does by their looks?

    And why would anyone be scared of a person wearing an ICE jacket anyhow? What’s the issue unless they are illegals which is the real problem?

    And why was the guy fired? He did nothing wrong.

    The ultra left in California need to start thinking like Americans!

  16. Fred Sanders says:

    Placed on leave by his government employer for his church activities? Well there’s a lawsuit!

  17. In related news, man wearing POLICE jacket causes stir amongst group of criminals.

  18. HA! A true patriot…
    Awesome….give that guy a job with ICE

  19. Susan Vue says:

    OMG this is awesome. I am going to buy an ICE jacket

  20. Whenever I have to go to the DMV or to an emergency room, I wear my Border Patrol baseball cap. I hardly never have to stand in line or wait very long. For some reason a lot of folks just get up and leave.

  21. Tallie Jones says:

    fema camps are empty and waiting. time to round them up, hold them, vet them and give them citizenship or deport them.

    time to stop fence-sitting

  22. Hiram Floss says:

    now WHY would the parishioners have reason to be afraid?….

  23. lthacker28shackman28 says:

    Off with his head cried the left wing! We can’t have the illegals get a little upset can we?

  24. 𝑴𝒂𝒏 𝑾𝒆𝒂𝒓𝒔 𝑰𝑪𝑬 𝑱𝒂𝒄𝒌𝒆𝒕 𝑰𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒅𝒆 𝑪𝒉𝒖𝒓𝒄𝒉
    We don’t get it… was it cold inside the Church? 🙂 Was the man ‘nuts’ because it’s Summer? :o)

  25. David Clay says:

    “While the man was not an ICE agent, he looked enough like one that he scared the congregation at their Sunday evening service and the incident sparked a police investigation.” What does an ICE agent look like? ICE agents are ordinary people who have chosen to do an extraordinary job in enforcing the immigration and customs laws passed by the U.S. congress and signed into law by the President. A jacket does not an ICE agent make.

    1. Actually the guy works for the ACE ICE Company and he was just making a delivery.

  26. Why would these worshipers be concerned about a possible ICE agent at the service?

  27. Tom Ronson says:

    I bet some of the illegals in that church wet their pants, when they saw that jacket. Very funny.

  28. Jeremy Wise says:

    So it is illegal to scare illegals? You cant make this stuff up! Liberals have absolutely lost all mental sanity.

  29. So I can’t wear an Army t-shirt if I love the army or army football?

  30. He’s on leave because he used a government vehicle for his personal needs on a weekend. They’ll end up firing him for that as the excuse because they can’t fire him for the church issue.

  31. Funny how an article like this just happens to spring up only days after I bought an ICE ball cap, that I frequently wear to Walmart’s in South Phoenix!

  32. Jack Riley says:

    Anyone have the utube video link…….That’s some funny stuff

  33. David Robson says:

    Not sure way anyone should be worried. At least if they are here legally. Just the same we can’t have people going around pretending to be one sort of authority when they are another. Next thing you know there will be EPA workers packing guns. Oh wait.

  34. So an illegal criminal alien can enter and be provided amnesty, and protection under the law but a guy wears a jacket and he is investigated, and ridiculed. So why is the church of god not providing this man with absolution and protection by giving him amnesty. The membership of the church will forgive you or they are hypocrites.

  35. Jim Snape says:

    Send in real ICE if they got that nervous.

  36. At first, I thought it might be Ari Shaffir doing The Amazing Racist bit again….

  37. Dean Fuller says:

    So . . . if they weren’t committing any crime, what would they have to be afraid of?

  38. Terry Lee says:

    Hee hee….. This is awesome!

  39. Can I get one in Warriors colors?