Community, Public Safety & Health

Armed suspect caught after public threats

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after he threatened bystanders at a Springfield hotel, SPD officials said in a news release.

Around 4:20 p.m, SPD was dispatched to the Guest House Inn and Suites at 3350 Gateway regarding an armed, disorderly individual.

The suspect, identified as 30-year-old Vaea John Leata of Eugene, was reportedly threatening people with a firearm and bear mace as he was walking the halls of the hotel trying to enter occupied hotel rooms, the report stated.

At one point, Leata made inappropriate comments to an 8-year-old girl, and when confronted by her parents, “he pointed the firearm (described as a black handgun with a laser) at the parents, making the comment, ‘head shot, head shot,’” Springfield PD said.

Arriving officers confronted Leata in the parking lot, where he was non-compliant and refused commands while holding a large canister of bear mace. Leata ran from the location.

He continued to reach in his pockets and waistband, the report continued, but officers were able to take him to the ground in the center lane of Gateway Street.

Once Leata was handcuffed, medical personnel were immediately summoned to render aid.

He was charged with Disorderly Conduct, Menacing (x4), Obstructing Governmental Administration and Resisting Arrest.



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