Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Mentally Ill Willits Man Allegedly Threatens Family with Knife and Resists Arrest, Says Willits Police


The following is a press release issued by the Willits Police Department. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:

Robert Spicer [Mugshot provided by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Booking Logs]

On the evening of March 19th, 2022 at about 9:30pm, Willits Police Department  (WPD) Officers were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Barbara Lane, for a reported assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats. The suspect, identified as Robert Spicer, 35 years of age from Willits, confronted family members with a knife and told them he was going to kill them.  

Fearing for their safety, Spicer’s family members fled the residence and contacted law enforcement. Spicer subsequently locked them out of the residence. A family member (brother) attempted to regain entry into the residence but Spicer confronted the brother and tried to stab him. The brother was able to use a metal rod to push Spicer back into the residence. 

Spicer is known to WPD Officers due to several recent calls involving him and his behavior toward his family. Spicer believes he is the sole owner of the residence and claims his family members who live with him are strangers.  

In January and early March of 2022, WPD responded to address issues between Spicer and his family at the residence. In both instances, it was decided by family members that it would be addressed via working with mental health and going through the civil eviction process. Throughout all these incidents, Spicer’s family has remained committed to helping him seek the help he needs. 

Given Spicer’s penchant for exhibiting escalating violent behavior, his actions this night, and his family’s feeling of being at risk, WPD Officers requested assistance from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). An arrest Warrant was requested and approved by an on-call judge after being briefed on the incident and history. The WPD Officers and MCSO Deputies formulated a plan of action, which included one of the MCSO Deputy’s K9.

Family members provided WPD and MCSO with keys to the residence and they gained entry after announcing themselves numerous times. Spicer was contacted on the second floor and ordered to come out of his bedroom and submit to arrest.  Spicer refused and forced entry was made into his bedroom. Spicer was observed sitting on his bed with a 4in double-bladed throwing knife next to him.  

Spicer was uncooperative and continually refused officers’ commands. At one point during their interaction he managed to slam the door to his bedroom shut. The door was pushed open immediately and officers observed Spicer back on the mattress and reaching for his knife before the K9 was deployed. The WPD Officers and MCSO Deputies entered the room where Spicer fought with the Officers and  Deputies before being placed in handcuffs. The knife was recovered under Spicer. 

Spicer was taken to Howard Memorial Hospital where he was medically treated for injuries incurred from his forceful resistance prior to being booked for 245(a)(1) PC  (Assault with a Deadly Weapon), 69 PC (Resisting Arrest with Violence), 422 PC  (Criminal Threats), and 417(a)(1) PC (Brandishing a Weapon Other Than a  Firearm). 

The Willits Police Department would like to thank the Mendocino County Sheriff’s  Office for their valuable assistance and support in this case. 

Editor’s Note

The alleged actions described in this press release could be the outgrowth of mental illness. Treatment can help. If you or are loved one are in need of crisis support, contact Mendocino County Behavioral Health’s Crisis Line at Crisis 1-855-838-0404.



  1. Driving down the road in my brand new SUV
    Someone cut me off this enrages me
    Ram them from behind force them off the road
    Then they hit a tree and their car explodes
    As I drive away pretending nothings wrong
    Suddenly I start to sing this silly road-rage song
    Jangled nerves jangled nerves break down on the way
    Hysterical reactions from a hectic stressful day-a (2X)

    Dashing through a crowd in a psychotic episode
    Empty magazine stopping to reload
    Lots of sirens scream gumballs flashing lights
    Oh what fun it is to sing a postal song tonight
    Jangled nerves……

    Douglas Wayne Coulter
    one of my early Christmas mental health parodies 1998

  2. Mike Geniella before you go posting stuff whatever you are you need to get the whole story so my son doesn’t look like a criminal, he is a victim of circumstance okay guy check it out, he had two units left to be a history teacher okay on spring break in 2013 he got drug out of a bar by Robert Williams and sage basler of laytonville put his head on a curb and curb stomped him and this is what we got and you want to write shit you right the hole true story jackass cuz you know what you are rude, before you go writing your crap you need to investigate that’s why it’s called investigative journalism okay. I appreciate if you take your rude ass yellow journalism shit off okay take it down now and post what really happened Guy start from 2013 asshole

    • I read the article carefully, and I don’t believe it made your son to be a criminal, I believe he needs help and from my experience, I’m sure his family is feeling pain and frustration with the whole situation. My older brother suffered with mental illness. Not from a brutal attack like your son. But it was heartbreaking and at times thoroughly frustrating on all of us who loved him. Love and light to you and your family.

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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