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Redmond PD: Man in gas mask, with BB gun threatened neighbor’s birthday party

Deschutes County Jail
Gabreial Russell

REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A Redmond man was arrested on charges he donned a gas mask, held a realistic-looking BB rifle and threatened neighbors holding a child’s “drive-by” birthday party that complied with the rules of Oregon’s stay-home order, police said Monday.

Officers responded around 5:40 p.m. Friday to the 2200 block of Southwest 33rd Street on a report of a man armed with a weapon who reportedly threatened others in the area, Lt. Curtis Chambers said.

An investigation found that a nearby homeowner was having a birthday party for their child that complied with the dictates of Gov. Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order, Chambers said. In the spirit of social distancing, friends would drive by, honk their horn and sing “Happy Birthday” from inside their cars, the lieutenant said.

According to witnesses, Gabreial Russell, 45, walked out of his house, wearing a gas mask and holding a weapon, while allegedly making threatening statements to party participants, Chambers said.

Police officers and detectives took Russell into custody without incident on charges of menacing and unlawful use of a weapon.

A search warrant for Russell’s home was obtained and more evidence seized. Chambers said their investigation found the weapon Russell had was "a realistic-looking MP5-style BB rifle.”

Russell was arraigned Monday afternoon on the initial DA's charging document, which listed three counts of menacing, a Class A misdemeanor, alleging Russell intentionally tried to place three people "in fear of imminent serious physical injury."

A plea hearing was set for May 4. Russell was released from jail Monday afternoon after posting 10 percent of his $5,000 bail, a jail officer said.

Court records show Russell was convicted in 2015 of three counts of felon in possession of a firearm and sentenced to 13 months in prison. He had been arrested in 2014 and pleaded no contest in early 2015 to unlawful use of a weapon, the records show.

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