Drunk man found with weapons cache at the Houston Hyatt Regency top floor for the old and the New celebration, police say



Man found with an arsenal of weapons in Houston hotel

Police discovered guns and ammunition in the Hyatt.

A Houston man was arrested on multiple charges after police found a quantity of weapons, including an AR-15 in his room at the beginning of the Sunday at the top of the Hyatt Regency ahead of the hotel in the centre of the massive New Year’s Eve party, authorities said.

The suspect, identified as 49-year-old Russell Lawrence Ziemba, had fought with guards after they tried to escort him to his room, because he had too much to drink, police told Fox 26. When backup arrived, police saw ammunition in the man’s hotel room on the 28th floor, Lt. Gordon Macintosh Houston police told local media.

The man was arrested for the unlawful carrying of a weapon and trespassing. When the researchers looked into the room further, they located an AR-15, a shotgun, a pistol and plenty of ammunition, Macintosh said.

Charges filed against Ziemba included assaulting a peace officer.

The situation was “in” and there were no specific threats to Houston, according to a tweet from Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

Situation of this morning in the hotel is included. No specific threats for @HoustonTX. @houstonpolice will be heavily deployed throughout the city to have SWAT respond teams. Proud of officers and Hyatt. As always, be vigilant and report suspicious activity to the authorities.

— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) December 31, 2017

A police spokesman said Sunday afternoon that the researchers could not speculate about the man’s intention.

The Hyatt New Year’s Eve party for 2000 people, spread over four floors with a 50,000 balloon drop will go, but security will be tight, according to Tom Nets, a manager of the hotel.

“The safety of our guests and colleagues is our top priority, and in accordance with the hotel prepared security plans, increased measures have been taken on New Year’s Eve,” Netting said in a statement to the Houston Chronicle. “We are fully cooperating with the authorities in an investigation and any further questions should be directed to the Houston Police Department.”

The police tried to tamp down fears of a massive planned attack. “There was not an arsenal,” an official familiar with the case told the Chronicle.

A guest in the building at the time told the newspaper that the hotel didn’t tell him anything about the incident, but the presence of the police do not have much impact on the lobby crowds as a sponsor back from the nearby bars.

“There was not a big disturbance,” the 32-year-old Zedshan Zakir, who was leaving a wedding reception when he saw a man in the cuffs on the one side of the atrium, told the Chronicle.

The man is a white Chevrolet Silverado was located and towed to be searched for and investigated, authorities said.

Researchers are working to learn why the man had the weapons.

In the midst of national concern over the recent terrorist attacks, the NYPD has deployed officers at every hotel on Times Square, sealed off a massive section of Midtown Manhattan, and plans to check that everyone is in the bag—twice—with-bomb-sniffing dogs and metal detectors as 2 million revelers are expected to ring in 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Christopher Carbone is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

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