CHICO, Calif. -

A man walking around Chico with a rifle created quite a scare for businesses on Mangrove and 5th Avenue.  Chico police received calls about the man Monday afternoon. 

According to a witness, three police officers drew guns and confronted a middle-aged man in the alley behind the outdoor mall on the south side of Mangrove between 5th and 6th avenues.  Police said that the man surrendered what was later to be determined an air soft gun.

Police took the man away in handcuffs on drug charges.

The event frightened workers of nearby businesses. "I was scared to see a police officer jump out with a rifle ready," said Sarah Plants, who works nearby. 

"I didn't know what was going on."