Video: security officer confronts woman police say threatened customers with gun

ALBUQUERQUE, N,M. (KRQE) – An Albuquerque security company owner is recounting a scary experience.

He says he sees crazy things every night while patrolling the Duke City but this time was different.

Police say the incident happened at Dunkin’ Donuts by UNM early Friday morning. They say a woman threatened customers with a gun.

New surveillance video shows Blackthorn Protection owner Jesse Mendez charging at that woman with his gun drawn.

She was identified Rita Howlingcrane.

Mendez says he was on break from his overnight patrols when he came across Howlingcrane at the Dunkin’ Donuts and he got her something to eat.

He says shortly after, she started yelling at him and other customers, including a group of young people, not making any sense.

He says he saw her go to large plant outside and start walking back toward the building with a gun.

“When she got to the sidewalk, I could see that it was a pistol so I started yelling to the kids to run for cover and to get out of there,” Mendez said.

He said he was scared she would start shooting and hurt someone, so he acted quickly, drew his gun charging toward her ordering her to drop her weapon.

He says, fortunately, she started walking backward, threw her gun to a nearby dumpster and sat waiting for police to arrive.

While waiting for police, Mendez says Howlingcrane continued mouthing off and complaining Mendez made her lose the coffee he had just bought for her.

Wednesday morning, Howlingcrane was still in jail on a hold.

Her charges include possession of a firearm by a felon, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and receiving a stolen firearm. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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