Man waving pepper spray device at police brings traffic to halt

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 20, 2020

 Police arrested a 45-year-old Southfield man after he allegedly pulled a pepper-spray gun — seen here — on a Berkley officer. The man, Russell Warren, was charged with felonious assault.

Police arrested a 45-year-old Southfield man after he allegedly pulled a pepper-spray gun — seen here — on a Berkley officer. The man, Russell Warren, was charged with felonious assault.

Photo provided by the Berkley Public Safety Department

 Russell Warren

Russell Warren

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BERKLEY — Berkley police arrested a Southfield man after he allegedly pulled a pepper spray gun on an officer.

Russell Warren, 45, was taken into custody at approximately 11:50 a.m. Nov. 5 near West 11 Mile Road and Mortenson Boulevard. He was charged with felonious assault and arraigned in the 44th District Court Nov. 6.

According to Berkley police, officers initially were called to the area for a report of a confrontation between a man and the suspect, Warren. An officer in his patrol vehicle found Warren walking on the sidewalk and attempted to talk to him about that incident, Detective Lt. Andrew Hadfield said.

“The officer opened (his patrol vehicle’s door) and the subject told him to stand down,” he said. “He replied with, ‘What do you mean stand down?’ And then all of a sudden, (Warren) drew out this weapon.”

The weapon, which looked like a derringer, actually was a four-shot device from the company Piexon that fires a chemical containing the “most potent pepper-based irritant on the market.”

The report states that Warren allegedly pulled the weapon on the officer, which also had a red beam that pointed at the officer. The officer demanded that Warren put down the weapon, which police said he did not do. More officers arrived at the scene from both Berkley and Huntington Woods to assist in the matter.

At one point, Warren allegedly began lowering the weapon before bringing it back up. He then began spinning in a 360-degree motion with both arms outstretched side-to-side to point the device toward anyone near him.

“The subject then walked into the middle of (11 Mile Road) and basically shut down traffic and (was) pointing the weapon in different directions,” Hadfield said. “There was traffic that was coming down 11 Mile in both directions, and once they saw him walk out into the road, those cars stopped and eventually there were more officers there to kind of shut down 11 Mile until the situation was handled.”

One officer twice attempted to fire a Taser at Warren, but both attempts missed. Police said Warren never fired his weapon. Warren also was said to have demanded that police shoot him.

Officers were able to calm the man down and he was arrested at the scene. The incident shut down 11 Mile for 20 minutes while police took photos and gathered evidence.

Warren’s next court date is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8, at the 44th District Court. His attorney, Jack Jaffe, could not be reached for comment.

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