Armed Southern California man shot in face after putting officer in headlock

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

A 56-year-old man could face more than a decade in prison after a routine traffic stop in San Bernardino County turned into a violent struggle that ended with police shooting him in the face.  

The Feb. 9 incident unfolded in Yucaipa when the suspect, Alan Metka, was pulled over at Yucaipa Boulevard and 14th Street for a missing front license plate and tinted windows by officers with the Fontana Police Department.  

In body-worn camera footage released by Fontana PD, Metka appears polite and cooperative as he answers one of the officer’s questions, even admitting to a prior arrest.  

“What were you arrested for?” the male officer is heard asking. 

“Explosives in public,” Metka replies. 

The 56-year-old complies when an officer asks him to step out of the car and over to the curb while they run his license plates. When a second officer begins to pat Metka down, the situation quickly escalates.  

“What’s this right here?” the female officer is heard asking him.  

“My gun,” Metka replies and places her in a headlock.  

“He’s got a gun!” she immediately yells. 

A Fontana Police Officer shot and injured Alan Metka after Metka allegedly attacked another officer during a traffic stop on February 9, 2024. (Fontana Police Department)

At a press conference about the incident, Fontana Police Chief Michael Dorsey emphasized how quickly a seemingly normal situation can turn deadly.  

“This was everything but a normal traffic stop with a very cooperative individual and in one second it turned into a deadly fight for the officer’s life,” the chief said. “The female officer continued to fight back to keep his hand in his pocket, so his gun wasn’t withdrawn.”

Alan Metka, 56. (RPD)

Footage of the struggle shows her partner come out shooting, hitting Metka one time in the jaw.

“We surmised that the gunshot could not be heard [in the video] because it was a very close contact wound,” Dorsey said.  

Metka survived his injuries and is now facing several charges, including possession of a firearm by a felon and assault with a semiautomatic firearm on a peace officer.  

After a search of his vehicle, where explosives were recovered, the 56-year-old also faces charges of possession of a destructive device, a charge similar to his Aug. 2021 arrest when he was found with enough explosives that police shutdown Sierra Avenue and Valley Boulevard in Fontana.

“He was actually convicted of felony possession of an explosive device in public and received two years in county prison,” San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson said at the news conference. 

Metka has since been released from the hospital and is now being treated at the West Valley Detention Center. His bail, according to court records, was set at $160,000 and he’s scheduled to appear on May 15.  

If convicted on all charges, he could face between five and 12 years in prison.  

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.