Saturday, 13 April 2024

REGIONAL: Man arrested after brandishing fake firearm at motorists

WILLITS – Authorities arrested a Willits man Monday on a variety of charges after he allegedly was spotted brandishing a fake gun at motorists, which resulted in a temporary shutdown of Highway 101.

Mendocino County Sheriff's deputies arrested Jeremiah Daniel Heilig Monday afternoon, according to a report from sheriff's Capt. Kurt Smallcomb.

At about 4 p.m. Monday deputies and Willits Police officer responded to the area of Highway 101 and Holland's Lane, where Smallcomb said a motorist had reported that a man dressed in camouflage was standing in a roadside ditch pointing a handgun at passing motorists.

When the deputies arrived on the scene they saw Heilig alongside the highway, allegedly holding an object which appeared to be a handgun, Smallcomb said. Heilig allegedly refused to comply with deputies commands to remain still and leave his hands in view.

After a brief struggle Heilig was taken into custody, Smallcomb said.

Highway 101 was closed for several minutes until it was confirmed that the suspect did not possess an operational firearm. Smallcomb said the gun Heilig had pointed at passing motorists was found to be made of plastic.

Heilig appeared to be confused and offered no explanation for pointing the imitation firearm at motorists, according to Smallcomb's reported. Deputies also found allegedly found Heilig in possession of an illegal "shank" type stabbing device.

Smallcomb said Heilig was arrested for possession of a dirk or dagger, which is a felony, and also was also charged with violation of probation and resisting arrest, and brandishing an imitation firearm. He was transported to the Mendocino County Jail where he was booked on the charges.

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