RPD: Drunk Man Armed With A Shovel Confronts Officers

A very drunk man with an axe and a shovel was eventually arrested after a confrontation with Redding Police Wednesday night. Officers were called as 56-year-old Robert Hardberger was outside a home on Eastside Road, reportedly holding an axe, saying he wanted to kill police, and threatening the residents. Officers waited around the corner while an acquaintance tried to reason with Hardberger, but then he reportedly got a shovel and used it to break a window and started yelling racial slurs at an African-American person inside. As he yelled death threats to the occupants and started a small fire near the house, officers moved closer and found Hardberger in the back yard. The fire was moving toward a gas can that was left in its path, so it was extinguished. Hardberger, wearing a helmet, knee pads and overalls, had armed himself with a shovel which he was swinging back and forth while moving toward the officers and challenging them. Police did not want to send a K9 after him because they didn’t want the dog to get hit by the shovel. Multiple bean bag rounds were fired. The first one just made Hardberger more angry but the next two worked and he was taken into custody. He was admitted to Mercy Hospital for his injuries from the bean bags, and will be booked into jail upon discharge. Hardberger was arrested in June for brandishing a bayonet at someone and in May for reckless discharge. That’s when about 20 guns were seized from him.


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