MERIDIAN -- Police say a 23-year-old Boise man's strange behavior at a local sporting goods store led to a violent confrontation with a police officer Tuesday.

MeridianPolice say Vaughn Huff punched a police officer then tried to take the officer's gun and baton shortly after 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in the parking lot of the Sportsman's Warehouse at 3797 East Fairview Avenue.

Store employees say the confrontation happened after Huff purchased a black powder pistol starter kit and proceeded to load the gun outside of the store.

According to reports, the 23-year-old then sat on a planter near the entrance to the store and his behavior prompted several customers to call police.

Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea said Huff became violent, and eventually punched a police officer who arrived to diffuse the situation.

The officer asked the man where the gun was, Basterrechea explained. He said, 'in his coat.' The officer told him to put his gun down.

Basterrechea says that's when the 23-year-old suspect ran at him and started swinging.

Police say during the ensuing fight, Huff also tried to take the officer's gun and baton. However, Basterrechea says the officer quickly gained control of the situation.

Referring to the officer's actions, Basterrechea said He picked him up and dumped him on the ground.

Police say Huff stands a towering 6'5 while the officer is about 5'10.

Store employees and bystanders reportedly helped subdue Huff before more police backup arrived.

Basterrechea says law enforcement officials don't understand why Huff did what he did, and that he remained unresponsive when asked questions.

We haven't heard anything to explain what he was doing, or why he was doing it, Basterrechea said.

Reports indicate Huff also abandoned his vehicle at a nearby gas station before the violent confrontation happened.

Police don't believe alcohol was a factor, but haven't ruled out drugs or psychological problems.

Huff is currently in the Ada County Jail, charged with felony assault on police officer, felony attempting to take an officer's weapon, and misdemeanor carrying of a concealed weapon without a license.

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