Man arrested with weapons in hotel room hours before NYE party

Jan 01, 2018, 01:11
Man arrested with weapons in hotel room hours before NYE party

Cops say an off-duty Houston Police Department officer raised the alarm after he came across an intoxicated man who was acting erratically and belligerent at the bar at Houston's Hyatt Regency Hotel, Texas, in the early hours of Sunday.

Police identified the man as 49-year-old Russell Lawrence Ziemba. Police said responding officers found a rifle, a shotgun and a handgun in his room, plus ammunition.

Police talk outside the Hyatt Regency hotel in Houston on December 31, 2017.

When attempts to subdue the man failed, the officer called for what's been described as urgent backup around 1:30 a.m. Investigators said the man was taken into custody at the hotel, where they found several weapons and ammunition in his room.

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It comes as cities across the USA and around the world step up security for New Year's Eve celebrations. The downtown hotel had planned a New Year's Eve celebration that expected hundreds of people to attend a 50,000 balloon drop.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted earlier Sunday that the situation at the hotel had been "contained" and authorities weren't aware of any specific threats to the city.

He said the man told investigators he was staying at the hotel to celebrate New Year's Eve and admitted he'd been drinking.

Police are still investigating the incident and will release more information about the suspect in due course.

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