A 44-year-old Clearlake man suspected of sending threatening text messages to strangers was arrested Monday following a confrontation with police who came to his home to investigate.
Several people reported receiving violent texts from an unknown source, causing some to feel unsafe, Clearlake police said. Police learned someone named “Don” who possibly lived on Vista Street may be responsible, which led them to the home of Donald Steele.
Steele allegedly came out of the house holding a wooden billy club strapped to his right wrist. A homemade weapon authorities described as two saw blades affixed to a long wood handle was also next to him, police said.
Police told Steele multiple times to drop the weapon and that it was illegal for him to possess it, and he eventually put the club by his feet after “a lengthy time,” according to a statement from the Clearlake Police Department. Steele allegedly grabbed the weapon as the sergeant and detective approached him, prompting the detective to quickly tackle him and knock the weapon away, the statement said.
Steele resisted officers until he was placed into handcuffs, according to police. He was arrested and booked into Lake County Jail on suspicion of possessing an illegal weapon, resisting arrest and annoying phone calls or text messages.
He told officers he didn’t know who he was texting and was reaching out to numbers he “had prior or had located somehow,” police said. Clearlake police said Steele “would send out the same random messages to several phone numbers for some type of personal motive.”
You can reach Staff Writer J.D. Morris at 707-521-5337 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @thejdmorris.