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Deputies arrest homeless man for waving weapons

"A very agitated 34-year-old homeless man was arrested last Thursday afternoon after scaring a couple of men working in a gravel pit on Hoffman Road, Island County Detective Mike Birchfield said.Birchfield said the man, armed with a 14-inch hunting knife, a hatchet and a pistol that turned out to be air-powered, was apparently drunk and upset that someone stole his bicycle.According to Birchfield, the homeless man had been camping with another man in a private woods just north of Oak Harbor over the summer. Thursday afternoon, a couple of men working at Lakeside Industries, which is across the road from the woods, saw the man walking around the property with weapons and a 22-ounce bottle of Busch beer. When they asked him to leave, Birchfield said the man refused and accused them of stealing his bike.One of the employees was in the office calling 911 when the man burst into the room, displayed his weapons and began speaking in a very agitated manner, Birchfield said.Local law enforcement officers responded in force to the call, but Birchfield said he and two Oak Harbor police officer were able to arrest the man at gunpoint without any problems.It was until after the man was arrested that police discovered the pistol he had shoved into waistband wasn't a .45 caliber handgun as suspected, but a BB gun.The man is facing charges of possession of a dangerous weapon and second-degree trespassing. He was arraigned in Island County Superior Court Friday and released without bail. Birchfield said he opposed the man's release mainly because he doesn't have a place to live.Birchfield said police will likely have to escort the man and his friend off the land they are camping on because of a request from the landowner. He said police likely won't be able to get the man any help since there simply isn't anything available locally.I wish they had a place to go and could get at least one square meal a day, he said. "

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