A man who falsely reported an active shooter at Bakersfield hospitals was found guilty by a Kern County Jury Thursday.
Mario Thompson, 48, pleaded no contest to impersonating an officer in December 2018. Six misdemeanor charges were dismissed, and Thompson entered his plea to the felony impersonation charge, according to court records.
Thompson was arrested Dec. 4 after police said he called in a report of an active shooter at Bakersfield Memorial Hospital.
Police said Thompson wore a security badge, acted suspiciously and inserted himself into the investigation. He claimed to be a security guard, but hospital security told police he didn't work there and had earlier identified himself as a police officer.
Thompson was sentenced in January 2019 to 270 days in the county jail and three years' probation for the misdemeanor impersonation charge and was ordered to undergo psychiatric counseling and take any medications prescribed for him.
At the time of Thompson's arrest, police said he had a metal security badge on him, and a nylon pouch emblazoned with the word "police" in gold letters.
Thompson told police he made the false report at Memorial Hospital to "test" law enforcement readiness, according to court documents.
Officers also linked Thompson to a false report of an active shooter at Mercy Hospital Southwest in August. Both incidents prompted the facilities to go on lockdown, with staff barricading doors and law enforcement sweeping rooms for the reported gunman.
Following his arrest, Thompson told The Californian he has a learning disability and personality disorder and receives Social Security for his disabilities. He admitted to inserting himself into the police investigation as they searched for the active shooter.
But he also said he had been given the medications Oxycodone, an opioid painkiller, and a muscle relaxer, and the drugs began to take effect as he was being interviewed by police.
Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced July 2.