HOUSTON – A man has been arrested on multiple charges after police located a small arsenal of guns on the top floor of the Hyatt Regency on Louisiana Street downtown, Houston police said.
He has been identified as 49-year-old Russell Lawrence Ziemba.
Police at the hotel called for backup around 1:30 a.m. Sunday after they attempted to arrest the man for being intoxicated and trespassing. When help arrived, police noticed ammunition laying around the man’s hotel room, Lt. Gordon Macintosh with Houston police said.
The man was arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon and trespassing. When investigators looked into his room further, they located an AR-15, a shotgun, a handgun and lots of ammunition, Macintosh said.
The Hyatt is preparing its own New Years Eve celebration at the hotel with a 50,000 balloon drop at the stroke of midnight, its website said.
The man’s white Chevrolet Silverado was located and towed to be searched and examined, Macintosh said.
Ziemba told police he was at the hotel to celebrate New Year’s and admitted to drinking for a few days, Houston police said.
Ziemba told investigators that he brought the weapons because he didn’t want them to be stolen from his vehicle parked in the garage.
Houston investigators said they don’t believe there was any intent to use the weapons at all.
Police said Ziemba is facing trespassing charges even though he was a hotel guest. He was asked to leave repeatedly and did not comply.
He also faces a charge of assault of a peace officer because of the struggle with the officer.
The Hyatt Regency Houston has released the following statement:
The safety and security of our guests and colleagues is our top priority, and consistent with the hotel’s prepared security plans, heightened measures are in place on New Year’s Eve. We are fully cooperating with authorities on an investigation, and further questions should be directed to the Houston Police Department.
A gun show at George R. Brown Convention Center was also held downtown Sunday. There is no information linking the man in this incident to the gun show as of Sunday afternoon.