“My roommate came and woke me up and said there’s a guy here with a gun, can you come and help us?”, says 20-year-old Cal Poly Engineering student and Delta Sigma Phi fraternity brother Forrest Baker recalling the terrifying moments he encountered early Sunday morning.
Baker says he woke up to find his fraternity brothers confonted by a man wearing a ski mask and demanding money with a handgun.
“I saw him with the gun to Will’s (fraternity brother) chest, I just said hey, he was obviously pretty afraid, I can help you get whatever you need, I don’t know what is that you want, but I can help you”, Baker says about his brief conversation with the gunman, “he was like okay, then he put the gun to my back and led me around asking me for money and all this stuff.”
“He grabbed me, led me around, and at that point I was just stalling because I figured the cops would come eventually”, Baker says, “the whole time he was saying if I see a cop I’m going to kill you, he had the gun to my head at one point, I was like okay, I will get you whatever you need.”
Baker says everything escalated as soon as the first San Luis Obispo Police Officer arrived, responding to a 911 call for help about a man with a gun at the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, with his gun drawn.
“We were along the top section of the balcony when a cop walked up the driveway with a flashlight”, Baker says, “at that point I realized there was a cop and he told me he would shoot me if there was a cop, I don’t know if he was being serious or not, he turned away from me for a second and that’s when I grabbed his gun and basically tackled him down the entire flight of stairs.”
“I was holding him on the ground for a few seconds before that cop came and jumped on top of him”, Baker says, “one cop wasn’t enough to keep him detained, a lot of my fraternity brothers came over and helped and the cops were even asking us to help them out, it was a real team effort.”
“30 seconds later five more police offices came and kind of dog-piled on him because he was resisting, he bit a police officer, he was trying to escape basically”, Baker says, “after that he was cuffed and everything was good, there was a getaway driver and I guess he was caught too.”
San Luis Obispo Police Captain Keith Storton says the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity brothers helped end what could have been an explosive situation.
“I think so”, Capt. Storton says, “I think at that time the officer may have been overpowered and needed the assistance and the students jumped in and helped him.”
Five Cal Poly students, including the alleged gunman, were arrested either at the fraternity house or at another location.
All five were members of the Cal Poly Football team and were from the southern California area.
“Whether they are football players or whatever”, Capt. Storton says, “its what they choose to do, the seriousness of the crime, is what’s prevailing here and from our standpoint the criminal nature of what they were doing is what we are dealing with here.”
Forrest Baker believes Delta Sigma Phi was randomly selected by the gunman and the getaway driver.
“I’m pretty surprised I didn’t know that we (Delta Sigma Phi) had any sort of conflict with the football team ever”, Forrest Baker says, “I don’t think we’ve had any conflicts with anyone, I’m just surprised they would think to do this on our property.”
Baker says he’s never had a gun pointed at him.
“It was pretty crazy, it was definitely not easy to deal with at the time”, Baker says about his violent encounter with the gunman, “but everything happened pretty quickly and you don’t have time to think about how afraid you are.”
Baker says the fraternity house has been hit with property crime over the years.
“Nothing this major, we’ve had robberies in the past, people have taken our TV’s and things like that”, Baker says, “but noone has every come here with a gun and stuck up brothers.”
Baker says the Delta Sigma Phi house was not hosting any parties or events on Saturday night before the encounter and adds some of the doors to the fraternity house may have been left open.
“It is locked for the most part but there’s also a lot of different doors everywhere”, Baker says our front door we usually try to keep locked, and our side door we keep locked but then again there’s also doors to everyone’s rooms that its up to the individuals that live there to keep it locked.”
“Everyone is thankful that noone got hurt”, Baker says, “its caused a lot of us to really reconsider our security system around here, maybe getting cameras and better locks, its kind of brought us closer because now we want to protect each other even more so.”
“I feel pretty comfortable, especially with how the cops handled it”, Baker says the day after his heroic actions which injured his right foot, “they arrested him, the getaway driver and his friends so I feel pretty comfortable and safe.”
San Luis Obispo Police say they are investigating the possibility a motive for the attempted armed robbery Sunday morning may have been drug related.