As partygoers get ready to see in the new year in Houston, Texas, police have discovered an arsenal of weapons and ammunition after showing up to arrest a drunk man at a hotel that hosts one of the city’s biggest celebrations.
With the tragedy of the Las Vegas mass shooting in October that took the lives of 58 innocent people fresh in people’s memories, the chief of police took to Twitter to assure the city of its safety.
The reported stash of weapons included an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, a handgun, a shotgun and ‘troves of ammunition’, police told local reporters.
Staff at the Hyatt Regency Houston called police at around 1.30am on Sunday morning for help in handling a ‘highly intoxicated’ man at the hotel bar.
Security reportedly first tried to send the man to his room, but called authorities for support after he started fighting with them. At first the officer planned to arrest the man for trespassing but discovered he was drunk and belligerent.
The officer spotted ammunition lying in the man’s hotel room and decided to call for back up.
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Lieutenant Gordon MacIntosh said on Sunday morning, The Houston Chronicle reported:
He’s intoxicated so they won’t be able to interview him till he’s sobered up a bit.
The man’s name has not been released but his truck has been towed so police can look for more weapons.
Situation from this morning at downtown hotel is contained. No specific threats to @HoustonTX. @houstonpolice will be heavily deployed throughout the city to include SWAT react teams. Proud of officers & Hyatt. As always be vigilant & report suspicious a activity to authorities.
— Chief Art Acevedo (@ArtAcevedo) December 31, 2017
Hotel manager Tom Netting said in a statement:
The safety and security of our guests and colleagues is our top priority, and consistent with the hotel’s prepared security plans, heightened measures are in place on New Year’s Eve.
We are fully cooperating with authorities on an investigation, and further questions should be directed to the Houston Police Department.
The arrest came a day before the New Year’s Eve celebrations at the hotel where 2,000 people are expected to attend. 50,000 balloons will be dropped from the top of a 33-storey atrium.
By mid-morning on Sunday, the police presence had died down and calm returned to the hotel lobby.
According to a hotel employee, the party’s still on.