[KHTS] – Sheriff’s Department officials deployed dozens of deputies, reservists and volunteers Sunday to Santa Clarita in an effort to control anticipated crowds at an unsanctioned memorial at the fatal crash site of Paul Walker and Roger Rodas.
Deputies arrested a man on a concealed weapon charge Sunday, during an impromptu memorial for movie star Paul Walker and racecar driver Roger Rodas.
Kyle Roberts, 29, of Arizona, was arrested for possession of a loaded firearm in public, according to Sheriff’s Department arrest records.
“What happened was at about 4:30 (p.m.), a few hundred yards south of where the impromptu memorial was, deputies noticed a man walking down the sidewalk,” said Capt. Mike Parker of the Sheriff’s Department’s Headquarters Bureau. “And it looked like the butt of a gun was protruding from his waistband, and it turned out, he was carrying a loaded pistol.”
The suspect, who was not identified by Sheriff’s Department officials, will be booked on at least two misdemeanor charges — carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded weapon.
At least 6,000 were expected to have visited the crash site Sunday, with thousands more having visited throughout the week.
That was the only reported incident so far, and the cause of the crash has not yet officially been released by the Sheriff’s Department.
The memorial car meet for Walker and Rodas on Sunday drew visitors from several states to Santa Clarita to pay their respects to the movie star and the CEO of Always Evolving Performance. Approximately 3,5oo people were estimated to have been there at one time, officials said.
The two died in a fatal crash Nov. 30, when the two, traveling at a “very high rate of speed” lost control of a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT and crashed it into a light pole.
A motorcade of everything from Lamborghinis to souped up Hyundais paraded past the crash site, which was tightly managed by a slew of Sheriff’s Department officials
What started with a few Facebook pages blossomed into an international event with thousands of fans coming from as far away as New Zealand to pay their respects.
“The mood of the crowd has been peaceful, but there have been traffic-control issues and large crowds all day,” said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.
While there were complaints of traffic congestion in the area on social media, there was little disturbance and no arrests, despite the large gathering.
There were approximately 40 citations given for illegal parking, and several vehicles were towed, Parker said.
Sheriff’s Department resources were still on scene as of 5:30 p.m., and Parker said they would stay until traffic and the crowd’s size no longer presented a security concern.
There’s still a lot of cars coming through here,” Parker said. “There’s at least a couple of hundred people still (here),” he said, from the scene of the memorial.
“There’s still at least hundreds of cars driving past,” he said
Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Station officials put out several Nixle reports warning of traffic closures, but long lines could still be seen on Copper Hill Road in Saugus, as fans poured in from all over.
The Sheriff’s Department managed resources from a mobile command post brought by the Emergency Operations Bureau.
The resources will be paid for by the city of Santa Clarita, said city spokeswoman Gail Ortiz.
“In terms of public safety, yes, traffic control, yes, and cleanup, yes,” Ortiz said, addressing the costs.
Unofficial estimates placed the cost of dozens of deputies, including a helicopter unit, and the all-day crowd control easily in the five-figure range.
No estimate on the bill was available Sunday, Ortiz said.