The Kern County District Attorney's Office has filed a misdemeanor charge against an off-duty Bakersfield police officer who was found asleep with his loaded service gun in his lap in a movie theater last month, prompting evacuation of the building on the night the most recent "Star Wars" film premiered.
Douglas Barrier, 29, was charged with disorderly conduct for being drunk, according to the Kern County Superior Court website.
Barrier was off duty on Dec. 19 when he was found asleep in a theater at Studio Movie Grill by an employee. Studio Movie Grill, which opened in April 2018, allows moviegoers to order food and beverages, including alcoholic drinks, while watching a movie.
Company spokeswoman Lynn McQuacker said the incident happened at the end of a later screening of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." There were 16 people spread out in the auditorium as the house lights came up, McQuacker said, which is when a Studio Movie Grill employee spotted Barrier asleep in his seat.
The employee reported it to the manager on duty, who called police, she said.
BPD officers responded around 11:16 p.m. and evacuated the business before approaching the man, a police news release said at the time.
Officers determined Barrier was under the influence of alcohol and he was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication, police reported at the time. No blood alcohol test was performed. Sgt. Nathan McCauley said that sort of testing is not routinely done for public intoxication cases.
Barrier has been on administrative leave since the incident, pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
He is schedule for arraignment on Jan. 16.