National News Desk

Black Oklahoma man held at gunpoint by police, handcuffed after false 911 call

KOCO_NormanPoliceDept_062321
Norman Police Department via KOCO

(NORMAN, Okla.) — A Black Oklahoma man said he was scared for his life after police detained him at gunpoint and handcuffed him when they responded to a purported false 911 call alleging he brandished a gun in a road rage incident.

The Norman, Oklahoma, Police Department released body-camera footage this week of officers detaining Steven Bomar at gunpoint at a gas station in Norman in what one apologetic officer later told Bomar was a “misunderstanding.”

Bomar told ABC affiliate station KOCO-TV in Oklahoma City that he wants the caller to face charges and suffer the consequences for putting his life in danger. He said he suspects the caller is the same man who cut him off in traffic, yelled racial slurs at him and followed him for several miles.

Lt. Cary Bryant, a police spokesperson, told ABC News on Wednesday that investigators have yet to locate the motorist who made the false complaint.

“It’s still under investigation,” Bryant said.

Bryant said the incident underscores how “extremely dangerous” it can be to make a false 911 complaint.

“We take every one of those calls just as seriously because you never know in today’s climate,” Bryant said. “For the officers, they hate being in that position, too.”

The incident unfolded on June 15 when the caller told a 911 dispatcher that a “Black guy … in a red Chevy Suburban” pulled a gun on him during a road-rage confrontation.

“So, I sped away because I don’t trust dumb people because he cut me off. And then, I sped up to get back over, and then he pulled the gun,” the male caller told the dispatcher, according to a recording of the 911 call obtained by KOCO.

Body-camera video showed officers confronting Bomar, who was driving his brother’s red Suburban, at a gas station.

“Let me see your hands,” an officer pointing a gun at Bomar is heard yelling, according to the footage.

Bomar, who was still seated in the vehicle, is seen putting his hands up and asking officers why he was being detained.

“I’m so f—— scared right now,” Bomar said as he stepped out of the vehicle and complied with orders to put his hands behind his back.

Another officer told Bomar, “You’re being detained, not arrested.”

As Bomar was being handcuffed, he asked again, “What did I do?”

An officer replied, “Someone called in on you.”

Bomar told the officers that he suspected the 911 caller was the white driver of a Nissan who cut him off earlier at a fast-food restaurant.

“They rolled their window down, called me a (racial slur),” Bomar told the officers, according to the body-camera footage. “I didn’t say anything to them. Didn’t give them a reaction. I just kind of chuckled at them, and they followed me for like 3 or 4 miles. And now, you guys are pulling me over.”

Bomar gave the officers permission to search the Suburban, telling them from the back of a squad car that he didn’t have a firearm.

The footage shows an officer thoroughly searching the vehicle Bomar was driving and finding no weapons.

In the video, a dispatcher said she was unable to locate the driver who made the 911 call, saying the person was not answering their phone.

“It seems like this is a ‘Let’s get the police to mess with him’ thing because now they’re not even answering their phone,” an officer said in the video.

The officers then removed the handcuffs from Bomar and let him go.

“I’m sorry for the misunderstanding,” one of the officers told Bomar, shaking the man’s hand. “I hope your day gets better. I apologize.”

Bryant said the officers involved in the incident appeared to followed department protocols and that their response was appropriate.

“In the absence of any gun or anything actionable, they realized that they may have gotten some inaccurate information from the original 911 caller. He was released and everything was amicable at the scene between the officers and Mr. Bomar,” Bryant said.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.