Police: Man arrested for chasing after OSU students with an axe - KPTV - FOX 12

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Police: Man arrested for chasing after OSU students with an axe

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Zachary Williams mugshot Zachary Williams mugshot
CORVALLIS, OR (KPTV) -

He called himself the “Axe Man” and chased them down the street dragging an axe.  That’s the frightening situation two Oregon State students say they found themselves in Monday night.

Fortunately, the two got away unharmed and that man is now behind bars.

The couple says they were walking home after watching the football game last night when they got to the intersection off NW 7th and NW Monroe in Corvallis.  That’s when they noticed a guy standing on the other side of the street. 

The couple tells FOX 12 they thought the man was holding a cane, but when they got closer that’s when they realized he was armed with an axe.

“I’m still shaking a little bit just talking about it now,” said OSU Student Rickie Ewton. “When we realized it was an axe we started to walk faster, but the guy started walking faster behind us and he was dragging the axe.  Then we almost started a light jog, and the guy started running behind us.”

The whole time this was happening, Ewton says the man, police later identified as Zachary Phillip Williams, was saying strange things.

“He introduced himself as the Axe Man and he was saying things like, ‘I’m the Axe Man, I’m going to get you,’” said Ewton. “Then he raised the axe and my boyfriend told me to run. I ran a little bit away, but I didn’t want to leave him.”

After that, Brennan Westerman, Ewton’s boyfriend, says instincts kicked in.

“That’s when I put the bike between me and him just in case he swung, so he would hit the bike and not me,” said OSU Student Brennan Westerman. “It wasn’t until the bike was up that I was like, ‘oh man, this is actually going to happen.’”

The two say they made a run for it and called 911.  Police got there within minutes and arrested Williams.

“It’s pretty scary, I wouldn’t want it to happen to anyone else,” said Westerman.

“I cried, I was freaked out, but it was really nice to know that my boyfriend was actually willing to risk his life for me,” said Ewton.

Corvallis police say they think Williams stole the axe from a yard nearby. While in custody, police say he admitted to trying to scare the couple. 

“I can’t say whether or not he would have actually swung the axe at us, but it felt like it in the moment.  I was really scared for my life,” said Ewton.

Corvallis Police say Williams is not facing attempted murder charges at this hour because there’s not enough evidence that proves he was trying to kill the couple. 

He is facing several other charges including the unlawful use of a weapon, menacing, disorderly conduct and theft.

His bail is set at $445,000 dollars.

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