HOUSTON — Police on Sunday arrested a man they say was found with several guns and ammunition in his Hyatt Regency hotel room downtown.
Houston Police confirmed Sunday Russell Lawrence Ziemba, 49, was questioned by investigators. He told police he was a guest at the Hyatt Regency and was planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve downtown.
Around 1:30 a.m. CT Sunday, hotel employees alerted an off-duty Houston police officer working security at the facility to a man they described as "belligerent." Employees said he was harassing other guests in the lobby.
Management and the officer asked Ziemba to return to his room on the 28th floor. Officials say Ziemba returned to his room but returned to the lobby again and continued harassing guests. Hotel management asked the man to leave the hotel.
Authorities say Ziemba refused to leave but was gathering his belongings. That's when the officer noticed ammunition and several weapons. It was unclear if the weapons were discovered while Ziemba was packing or if they were in plain sight.
After several failed attempts to get Ziemba to leave the hotel, the off-duty officer called for backup.
Ziemba faces charges of trespassing and assault of the off-duty police officer.
Police early Sunday morning checked Ziemba's vehicle for more weapons. Investigators said there were no indications Ziemba had any intent to use the weapons in his room but had simply brought them from his vehicle for safekeeping.
Officials said they did not know if anyone was staying in the hotel room with Ziemba.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo tweeted Sunday that the situation at the hotel "has been contained."
The Hyatt Regency's annual New Year's Eve celebration will go on Sunday night with heightened security, according to a hotel spokesperson.
“The safety and security of our guests and colleagues is our top priority and is consistent with the hotel’s security plan. The Hyatt Regency is cooperating with authorities on the investigation,” the hotel said in a statement.
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