EUGENE, Ore. — A 28-year-old Eugene man was arrested at gunpoint near the University of Oregon campus late Sunday afternoon after witnesses told police they feared he might be carrying an explosive device, UO police said.
As a precaution, police ordered several businesses near the intersection of East 13th Avenue and Alder Street, as well as Sacred Heart Medical Center, University District, into lockdown.
Ultimately, it was learned that the man, Immanuel Menelik Williams, was holding a cell phone charger. He was cited for disorderly conduct and taken to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield for evaluation, UO Police Department spokesman Kelly McIver said.
McIver said the incident unfolded about 4:15 p.m. when witnesses called UO police to report a man yelling as passers-by and acting erratically along East 13th Avenue near Johnson Hall, the university’s administration building. Witnesses said the man was holding a device in his hand that appeared to include a button and a cord that disappeared into his sleeve, McIver said.
The man continued to walk west on 13th Avenue and was contacted by an armed UO officer near the intersection of 13th and Alder, McIver said. The man initially did not comply with an order to stop, and the UO officer drew a weapon to compel compliance, ordering the man onto the ground.
A Eugene police officer was in the vicinity and helped with the immediate arrest, McIver said.
In addition to the disorderly conduct citation, Williams was issued a letter of no trespass barring him from UO property, McIver said.
McIver said he didn’t know whether Williams had verbally asserted that he was carrying a bomb or other explosive device. Witnesses said he was holding a device in “an unusual manner” with his thumb poised over a button, McIver said.
Customers at a corner Starbucks store were among those who were prevented temporarily from leaving the premises until the incident was resolved.