Arsenal seized from Northeast Philadelphia man

July 20, 2010 8:38:45 PM PDT
Action News is learning more about the Northeast Philadelphia man who police say had a stash of weapons in his home and showed up at a police district Monday, wearing a bulletproof vest.

Multiple agencies have been assisting in this investigation, but so far, they haven't been able to determine what this man was planning to do with all these weapons. But in an exclusive interview with Action News, the man's father says his son was under a lot of stress but never planned to do any harm to anyone.

His name is 44-year-old Yuri Arkadyev, a Russian immigrant who immigrated here from Ukraine with his parents in 1992. According to his father, Devi Arkadyev, Yuri had served honorably in the military of the former Soviet Union back in the late 1980's where he became fascinated with weapons.

Devi says, "What happen to him from my point of view is that he had a weakness for collecting guns, but not guilt. He didn't do anything against the law."

Police say he had enough weapons and ammunition at his Northeast Philadelphia home in the 800 block of Barlow Street to start a war. Twenty-four long rifles, several of which are assault types with collapsible stocks - some had bayonets; a flash suppressor; 2 shotguns; 16 handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. He carried a few other weapons in his car.

Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan says, "At this particular time, our concern is what the intent of the defendant was when he put that much firepower into his auto."

The suspect's father says his son began showing signs of emotional stress after losing his job with a computer company a year ago. The bills began to pile up and then recently, according to a neighbor, his wife and 12-year-old daughter left him.

His father explains, "After he lost his job and he started getting depressed and stressed out, I was giving him advice. I urged him to go see a psychiatrist so that his anxiety would not get out of control."

Authorities say in May 2008, Arkadyev was stopped at JFK airport trying to carry a number of weapons on a flight to Ukraine. The weapons were confiscated and he was allowed to travel to Kiev where he showed up at the U.S. Embassy.

"He was claiming that he wanted to procure ballistic vests produced in the Ukraine and bring them back to the United States for ballistic testing," said Devi.

A police neighbor, who does not want to be identified, and Arkadyev's father say he was very pro police and had a deep belief that police needed better bulletproof vests and should be wearing the ones made in the Ukraine. He was in fact wearing one of them when he was arrested.

"I know that, he was telling me himself, 'So many police men are dying because they're bullet proof vests cannot handle the bullets,'" said Devi. "He tried to help the police so they can get more reliable vests, which were being made in Ukraine."

His father says his son is a man of good character and a wonderful person going through a difficult time.

Authorities say Arkadyev has no prior criminal history and he is expected to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.