The victim told police she was knocking on the glass of a business that employs her on the 700 block of Front Street around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday when a man approached her from behind.
The man pushed what felt like a gun into the back of the woman's neck, and pushed her against the wall before asking her who she was.
When a coworker inside the business saw what was happening and came outside, the suspect told them it was ok and that he was an undercover police officer. He then told the employee that he had a gun, before walking away.
The victim sustained minor injuries but did not require medical attention.
Police found Noah Paskus a short time later in a parking lot nearby with a replica handgun, and arrested him on suspicion of false imprisonment, exhibiting an imitation firearm, impersonating a peace officer and battery.
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call Santa Cruz police at (831) 420-5820.