Man swings ax at gas station security guard in Toppenish, police say

A 43-year-old transient man is accused of charging at a Toppenish gas station security guard with an ax, knives and nunchucks on Sunday, police said. The incident began around 3:30 p.m. when a security guard at Topp Stop gas station told the man he was not allowed to panhandle there and told him to leave, according to a probable cause affidavit. The man reportedly became upset and opened his suitcase to reveal a tomahawk ax.

He then charged the guard while swinging the ax at him, the affidavit said. The guard managed to take the ax from him.

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The man removed more weapons from his suitcase, including two long knives and a pair of nunchucks, and charged at the guard again, the affidavit said. The guard told the man if he dropped the weapons he could have his ax back, the affidavit said.

The man agreed and the guard tackled him to the ground while another employee called the police, the affidavit said. When officers arrived the guard described what happened and said he feared for his life during the incident, according to the affidavit. A witness corroborated the guard’s account, the affidavit said.

Security footage of the event was available, though the gas station employee in charge of the cameras was not scheduled to work until Monday, according to the affidavit.

Officers held the man at the Toppenish Police Department before they took him to Yakima County Jail and booked him on suspicion of first-degree assault and four counts of wielding dangerous weapons.

The man appeared in Yakima County Superior Court on Monday, where Judge Richard Bartheld set bail at £10,000




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