GILROY, CA (KSBW/CNN) - Chaos erupted Sunday at a high school when a former police officer who was on drugs and thought ghosts were chasing him drove a stolen car onto an athletic field.
Luckily, a father who happened to be at the school jumped into that car and talked the driver into surrendering to police.
The driver, Chad Browning, a former Hollister officer, was arrested.
A parent captured some of the commotion at Gilroy High School on Sunday after Browning, who police said was high on meth, drove onto the athletic field while kids were playing football nearby.
"People were panicking. All the cheerleaders and the little girls were crying. Mothers were screaming. Dads were looking for their kids," witness David Marquez said.
Parents sprang into action, closing gates, sheltering families and trying to get the driver to stop.
William Maquinalez, who used to work as a reserve police officer, tried talking to the man who he says threatened to shoot him.
Maquinalez said, "I figured as long as he and I were actually talking, that means he is not driving. He is not driving out into the crowd; he is not driving into the kids."
When the man got behind the wheel again, Maquinalez jumped in the back seat.
"He gunned it to go through the gates. He bursted through the gates and there was a police officer on the other side with a shotgun, and I saw him raise the shotgun to take shot," he said.
Maquinalez was still in the car when an officer opened fire on the vehicle, KSBW reported.
Eventually Browning got out of the car while it was in motion, so Maquainalez had to grab the wheel from the back seat to get control of the car.
Both he and Maquinalez were held at gunpoint until police sorted out who was the threat.
Maquinalez works in IT, often helping law enforcement with digital forensics.
He said he was prepared to do what it took to stop the man from hurting others, even if that meant putting himself in harm’s way.
"That's one thing I had to do is come home and talk to my kids and actually tell them there was a possibility that I didn't come home that night,” Maquinalez said. “For me, that's when it hit me and I told them that I can't live with myself if the car drove out and hit a bunch of kids. I always have to try and do something."