Man Threatens Mental Health Center Employee With a Knife
Just before 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, a Missoula Police Department Officer was dispatched to Winds of Change for an assault with a weapon. The caller said the suspect, 58-year-old Neil Mahle, charged an employee with a knife. Dispatch said Neil left the scene on his bike and was headed toward the Zip Trip gas station. Neil's wife, Lu, was with him and the caller was concerned for her safety. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.
“Neil Mahle is being held in the Missoula County Detention Center on a charge of assault with a weapon,” Arnold said. “Officers responded to Winds of Change at 1120 Cedar Street after staff had asked Neil to leave. Neil had been at Winds of Change and was being disorderly. Staff had advised Neil he was to leave for the day and Neil’s behavior escalated.”
Officers spoke to the victim at Winds of Change. He was sitting down and was noticeably upset. His voice was broken and shook when he began to tell what happened.
“Staff escorted Neil out of the building because they were concerned for the safety of those around Neil,” Arnold said. “Neil produced a knife and threatened a staff member with it. Neil was located a short time later by officers. He was taken into custody and a knife was located on his person. No person was injured during the incident.”
On his way out of the building, Neil shoved 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 was also punching his bike and picking it up and throwing it at Lu and the victim.
At one point, the victim became concerned for Lu's safety and stepped in front of her while putting his arm out to keep Neil away. Neil then took out a knife and came at the victim. The victim said he thought Neil was going to kill him. The victim felt that he needed to defend himself and started to go after Neil, but Neil then took off.
Another staffer said she had let people into the business and locked the doors behind them twice during the incident. The staffer said she was also concerned for Lu's safety, who left with Neil after the incident. The staffer said Neil was acting aggressive earlier in the day and she knew he was on meth.
An officer quickly located Neil outside the Zip Trip convenience store and Neil was taken into custody without incident. Neil is currently being charged with one count of felony assault with a weapon.