Darwin Award nominee Jose Vaca, 29, may be in a jail cell, but he is lucky to be alive.
Vaca was driving through Bakersfield, CA, on December 19th when he and a friend were pulled over by police. The convicted felon had a rifle in the car with him and he decided to use the traffic stop as an opportunity to test a theory he had about police brutality, and
“What I was hoping for them to do was tell me, ‘Drop the gun! Back away from the firearm! Get on the ground! Turn around!’ And it was going to be an arrest,” he said. “But I was completely wrong.”
When Vaca exited the vehicle holding the rifle, Officer Christian Hernandez opened fire.
“Soon as I hit the ground, I just attempted to play dead,” Vaca said. “It’s a blessing I’m alive.”
Vaca was taken to Kern Medical and treated for more than a week before being transferred to the Kern County jail on Tuesday.
Vaca was being held on $400,000 bail. He was booked on 11 criminal counts, including possession of a firearm as a convicted felon and participating in a criminal street gang. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.
As for his experiment, Vaca says it was to prove to a friend, whose husband was allegedly killed by police, that all police officers are good.
“First thing that came to my mind is I’m already going to get pulled over. I know they’re most likely going to take me in, but I’m going to need to try my theory real quick and see that it’s true, so she can believe there is good officers in the world,” recounted Vaca.
Although it wasn’t what he expected, technically, his theory was right. Good police officers neutralize a threat before it claims their life or the lives of their fellow officers.