Man armed with cane accused of assaulting staff, threatening to kill veterinarian

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One employee pushed, another repeatedly punched by suspect distraught over death of dog, police say.

Charles Kingman Jr. is charged with threatening a crime with intent to terrorize and assault after allegedly attacking the staff at Burnham Veterinary Clinic near Willows, Calif. Charles Kingman Jr., 61, is accused of entering Burnham Veterinary Clinic, near Willows, California, on Monday afternoon visibly angry and threatening to kill Leroy Burnham, DVM. Employees reported to the Glenn County Sheriff's Office that Kingman, armed with a cane, tried to hit people as he searched for Burnham, who was performing a medical procedure at the time.

Off-duty Glenn County Service Officer Ben Niblack happened to be at the clinic when the assault took place. Niblack struggled with Kingman, eventually wrestling the cane away from the suspect, as Meghan Niblack, who works at the clinic, called 911. She then ran outside the clinic with her two young children, who were at the clinic as well.

The sheriff's press release says Kingman forced his way past Niblack, pushing Lynn Burnham, 59, "violently into a wall." Niblack was unable to stop Kingman as the suspect continued toward the rear of the animal hospital yelling that he was going to kill the veterinarian.

Kingman then encountered clinic employee Rudy Alvarez-Romo, whom he punched in the face and knocked to the floor. "Kingman got on top of Romo and began throwing punch after punch toward Romo's face," the press release states.

Niblack told authorities he was then able to grab Kingman and subdue him with a control hold until deputies arrived. Kingman told deputies he was upset over the death of his 5-year-old dog, which he had brought to the clinic two weeks prior to the assault.

Kingman was arrested on charges of assault and threatening a crime with intent to terrorize and held on $152,000 bail at the Glenn County Jail.

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