Man threatens mental health worker with knife
Just before 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, an officer from the Missoula Police Department was sent to Winds of Change for an assault with a weapon. The appellant said the suspect, Neil Mahle, 58, charged an employee with a knife. Dispatch said Neil left the scene on his bike and was heading to the Zip Trip gas station. Neil’s wife Lu was with him and the caller was concerned for her safety. Police Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.
“Neil Mahle is being held at the Missoula County Detention Center for Assault with a Gun,” Arnold said. “Officers responded to Winds of Change at 1120 Cedar Street after staff asked Neil to leave. Neil had been to Winds of Change and was messy. The staff had informed Neil that he had to leave for the day and Neil’s behavior escalated.
Officers spoke to the victim at Winds of Change. He was seated and was visibly upset. His voice broke and trembled as he started to recount what had happened.
“Staff escorted Neil out of the building because he feared for the safety of those around him,” said Arnold. “Neil pulled out a knife and threatened a staff member with it. Neil was located shortly after by officers. He was taken into custody and a knife was located on his person. No one was injured in the incident.
As he exited the building, Neil pushed another patient out of his way. The victim followed Neil outside to make sure he left. Neil continued to be “super aggressive” and called the victim a “Mother F **** r”. Neil also hit his bike, picked it up and threw it at Lu and the victim.
At one point, the victim became concerned for Lu’s safety and stepped in front of her while reaching out to pull Neil away. Neil then took out a knife and walked over to the victim. The victim said he thought Neil was going to kill him. The victim felt he needed to defend himself and started lashing out at Neil, but he took off.
Another staff member said she let people enter the business and locked the doors behind them twice during the incident. The employee said she was also concerned for the safety of Lu, who left with Neil after the incident. The employee said Neil was aggressive earlier today and knew he was taking methamphetamine.
An officer quickly located Neil outside the Zip Trip convenience store and Neil was arrested without incident. Neil is currently charged with one count of assault with a weapon.