Proof that no one can turn down that kind of offer

By Tim Nelson
June 13, 2018
Uta Gleiser / EyeEm/Getty Images

J.R.R. Tolkien once said that “cellar door” rates as the most beautiful two word phrase in the English language, but you could make a strong case that “free tacos” is a close second. It’s pretty much impossible to resist the urge to eat seasoned meat and cheese wrapped in a tortilla, especially when you don’t have to pay for it. And as one LA-area family recently found out, the offer of a free taco was enticing enough to diffuse what could’ve been a dangerous situation.

As KTLA tells it, an unnamed family of six stopped by a taco truck in Industry, California, and were peacefully eating some carne asada when a stranger approached their mini van flashing a badge and showing a gun tucked into his waistband. The would-be assailant referred to himself as a undercover cop, but the mother immediately knew something was off.

Luckily, that’s when her taco sense started tingling. She offered the fake cop one of her tacos, and stepped out of the car, telling him she’d grab him some napkins from the truck. Instead, she calmly told everyone in line and working the truck not to look back at the car, and to dial 911 while the perp was chowing down and rifling through her purse.

Her bold thinking paid off. Cops swarmed to the scene within minutes, managing to disarm and arrest Juan Rodriguez, charging him with child endangerment and impersonating an officer. After the arrest, the LA County Sheriffs Department was quick to credit the mother’s taco ploy for saving the day.

"We want to give a shout out to the brave mother whose momma bear instincts kicked in,” the department said in a statement. “She was able to deescalate the situation, plan a distraction and found a way to get deputies to her location immediately."

As if we needed more proof that street tacos were magical. Turns out they might just save your life.