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Man seen openly carrying a rifle in Far East El Paso earlier this month arrested

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EL PASO, Texas -- The man that was seen walking down the Joe Battle area carrying a rifle and dressed in tactical gear on November 10 has been arrested.

Mario Fernando Diaz, 28, caused alarm to many El Pasoans in the Far East when he was seen walking in several El Paso neighborhoods and near the El Paso County Jail Annex carrying the weapon, a news release from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office read.

Mario Fernando Diaz, 28, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Numerous calls were made to 911, and schools in the immediate area were "locked down," the release said.

According to that release, a criminal warrant was obtained by the sheriff's office, and Diaz was arrested for Disorderly Conduct, a Class B Misdemeanor, and booked into the El Paso County Jail. He has since posted the $2,000 bond set for him and has been released.

The sheriff's office reminds citizens that while Texas is an "open carry" state, you may not display any deadly weapon in a public place in such a way that causes alarm. It also said there is case law from the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals as current as 2019 outlining the crime.

The numerous 911 calls on November 10 made prompted the El Paso police department to tweet out multiple messages regarding Diaz.

"The EPPD is aware of an individual carrying a rifle walking around the far east side of El Paso in the Joe Battle area. There is nothing illegal about this. Unless he presents a threat, by his actions beyond that, there is no need to report him," the police department tweet read from that day.

In a video obtained by ABC-7, Diaz was recorded saying the reason he was doing what he did was because he was trying to get his exercise in.

Article Topic Follows: ABC-7 Alert Center

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