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:
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.
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.