Judge Orders Mental Evaluation for Fake Gun-Wielding Man

Judge Frank Ochoa ordered that Ralph Kenneth Provident-the homeless man arrested for engaging in a 30-minute stand-off with police last Friday at the downtown Ralph’s for brandishing a pellet gun-receive a psychiatric evaluation. Ochoa’s action came at the suggestion of Provident’s attorney. Although the gun Provident pulled shoots only plastic pellets, it looked extremely realistic. Police officers eventually determined it was a fake gun by examining it through binoculars. The stand-off proved suspenseful-if sort-lived-prompting an appearance by Chief Cam Sanchez.

Provident was subdued and arrested after city police shot him several times with bean bags. Provident, 58, is relatively new to Santa Barbara and was cited several times this year for a host of infractions ranging of open container violations to illegal possession of a shopping cart.

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