UPDATE: Airport Assault Suspect In Court

A man tried to get through security and board a flight at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport — with no ticket, no identification, and armed with multiple guns.

Posted: Jan. 10, 2019 3:31 PM
Updated: Jan. 11, 2019 6:18 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. —

Friday, Jan. 11, 6:30 p.m. UPDATE:

Anthony Anderson faced a judge for the first time Friday afternoon, after police say he tried to push his way past the TSA checkpoint while armed and without a ticket Thursday.

Police say he had 4 guns, extra ammuntion, and refused to show identificatation.

Today a judge raised Anderson's bail to $100,000. He's facing four charges: unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possessio of a firearm, resisting arrest, and criminal trespass in the second degree.

He'll scheduled to be back in court January 18.

ORIGINAL POST:

A tense incident at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport on Thursday ended when police officers confronted an armed man — a man who they later confirmed had carried four loaded guns to the airport with him.

According to Lt. Mike Budreau with the Medford Police Department (MPD), dispatch received a call from Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel at the airport around 1:20 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. TSA told police that a man who was openly carrying a handgun was requesting to go through security to board a plane — even though he did not have a ticket, would not identify himself, and was quite obviously armed.

"Upon our arrival, officers learned that the unknown suspect was still at the TSA checkpoint to enter the secure area armed with a handgun in a shoulder holster and requesting to board an airplane. He would not produce identification or a boarding pass," MPD said in a statement.

The man was later identified as 33-year-old Anthony James Anderson of the 700-block of Gilman Road in Medford.

Witnesses at the scene said that most people at the airport did not realize that anything was wrong until airport security personnel cleared the area around Anderson of bystanders — but did not approach him directly or attempt to address him.

"Those in the airport were directed to safer areas," said the Jackson County Airport Authority in a statement. "The security checkpoint was temporarily closed."

It wasn't until officers from the MPD arrived that the confrontation escalated. The officers tried to talk to Anderson but found that he still refused to identify himself. Eventually, they resolved to take him into custody.

"One of the officers, trained in hostage negotiations attempted to speak to the suspect without success. Ultimately, the suspect was asked to leave and he refused. Officers attempted to take the suspect into custody for trespassing, and the suspect resisted," MPD said.

When the officers approached, Budreau said that Anderson fought them. After a physical struggle between officers and the man, the officers eventually wrestled the man to the floor.

"They just jumped on him and wrestled him to the ground, and he was yelling and kicking and fighting," said Michelle Freeman, who witnessed the incident. Freeman had gone to the airport to pick up her parents, who were flying in on Thursday. She was among those ushered away from Anderson by airport security.

"During the struggle, the suspect reached for his firearm but officers were able to pull his hand away from the gun and get him into custody," MPD said in a statement.

Once the officers had the suspect on the ground, Freeman said that they began searching him, flinging items from his pockets.

"A gun went flying first, and then a knife and several magazine clips," Freeman said.

A statement from MPD did not mention a knife, but a thorough search of Anderson and his bag found a total of four loaded handguns, plus additional ammunition on his person.

Although Budreau could not yet confirm the fact, he said that Anderson's behavior suggested some sort of mental health crisis.

Anderson has been lodged in the Jackson County Jail on multiple charges — including Attempted Assault 1 and Attempted Assault 2, "based on his attempt to obtain his firearm during the struggle with the officers," MPD said. His bail has been set at $30,000.

According to the Airport Authority, the only impact on their operations was an 8-minute delay for Alaska flight 2092. The incident lasted about a half hour from beginning to end.

(This article has been updated with additional information from Medford Police and the Jackson County Airport Authority)

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