Police return weapons to ODOT worker

The guns were delivered Friday morning

Medford police have returned five firearms taken for "safekeeping" Monday morning when their owner was placed in protective custody.

David Pyles, who identified himself as the Oregon Department of Transportation worker taken in for a mental health evaluation Monday, asked for the return of his weapons Thursday.

Three handguns, an AK-47 rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun were delivered back to his home at about 11 a.m. Friday, he and police said in separate statements.

Pyles said in an e-mail that his weapons were returned to him in a professional manner.

He thanked police for returning his legally owned personal property and said he also appreciated the media's interest in the matter.

Police negotiators and a SWAT team descended on his Effie Street home early Monday after police had watched the home overnight, a police news release said.

Law enforcement officers across Southern Oregon had become concerned that he might plan to retaliate against his employer after he was placed on administrative leave, then bought two handguns and the AK-47.

Pyles surrendered voluntarily to law enforcement personnel and was taken to Rogue Valley Medical Center for a mental-health evaluation that lasted several hours.

The incident prompted a flurry of concern from gun- and civil-rights advocates that rippled across the Internet and talk-radio airwaves.

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