Man arrested after pointing gun at police officer

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Douglas Neilson, 49 By Mike Gertzman Douglas Neilson, 49 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- A man was arrested at a residence Saturday night after allegedly pointing a gun at a Mesa police officer.

Officers were searching for a hit-and-run suspect following a collision at Southern Avenue and Stapley Drive when they knocked on a door of a residence near Gilbert Road and University Drive.

Robert Neilson, 49, opened the door, pulled a handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the officers, according to a police report released Monday.

The officers grabbed the handgun and got it away from Neilson after a physical struggle. When Neilson was on the ground he reached for the gun.

Officers were eventually able to get Neilson into custody.

He was treated at the scene by Mesa Fire paramedics for injuries and taken to a hospital due to his level of alcohol intoxication.

"He admitted he had been drinking for several days, was highly intoxicated but denied that he was trying to point the weapon at our officers saying that he was just there to protect his friend," said Sgt. Tony Landato with the Mesa Police Dept.

One of the officers received minor abrasions to his knees during the struggle.

Neilson was booked on two counts of aggravated assault on law enforcement and one count of resisting arrest.