Bail set at $50,000 for man in gun-pointing incident

Paul Anderson of Benton City, Wash., is accused of pointing a gun at a police officer Tuesday.

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WALLA WALLA -- Bail was set at $50,000 this morning for a man accused of pointing a handgun at a police officer Tuesday.

Paul Anderson, 63, of Benton City, Wash., appeared before Walla Walla Superior Court Judge Donald W. Schacht to hear the charges against him. Schacht told Anderson that at present local attorney Gail Seimers will be assigned as his defense counsel unless he elects to retain another lawyer.

Anderson was arrested by Walla Walla Police after officers received a call at 5:35 a.m. of a man driving a motor home recklessly and waving a gun around in the 100 block of Bryant Avenue.

Police located the motor home parked in the driveway of a residence. While searching around the vehicle, an officer said he was confronted by Anderson, who was crouching near the home's garage pointing a pistol at the officer.

Anderson was taken into custody after being persuaded to put the gun down. Police said Anderson claimed there were snipers on his motor home trying to kill him.

Anderson is being held for investigation of first-degree assault and first-degree burglary.

Prosecutors said he has no criminal history.

In court today, Anderson told Schacht he is a retired railroad worker who is married and helping raise his grandchildren. "I've never done anything like this," he said.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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