Gun Threats Outside Sock Shop Spur Arrest

Woman says she was upset, but gun wasn’t loaded

Ricci Saliba

Ricci Saliba

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Payson police arrested a massage therapist Tuesday after she allegedly pointed a handgun at a man who had asked how her day was going.

Ricci Saliba, owner of Hands of Holistic Healing, faces charges of disorderly conduct with a weapon and aggravated assault.

Saliba was sitting outside Socks n Things, 512 S. Beeline Highway, Tuesday afternoon while her husband was inside working.

Officers learned Michael Armstead approached and asked Saliba if she’d had any massages that day.

Saliba reportedly pulled a .45-caliber handgun from a holster and pointed it at Armstead’s head.

Witnesses said they saw Saliba point the gun at Armstead and say she would kill him.

“He advised that he looked up and the woman appeared to be trying to pull the trigger but couldn’t,” said Officer Lorenzo Ortiz in a police report.

Armstead backed away and Saliba went inside the store, got her husband and they left in a blue Hyundai.

When officers arrived, they found Armstead outside the sock store in visible shock.

Armstead said he had never had any issues with Saliba, but he was auditing a business he shares with Saliba’s husband. Armstead said he had recently discovered her husband was not giving him his share of the profits for Gollipops lollipops.

As Ortiz spoke with witnesses in the shopping center, Saliba’s husband returned and told Det. Matt VanCamp the gun, which was unloaded, was in the car.

The man explained his wife was likely upset because a client that day had made sexual overtures to her during a massage.

He added she was likely still on edge from the incident.

Officers went to Saliba’s home in the 300 block of S. Golden Bear Point and arrested her.

She told Ortiz she was upset because a client had come onto her. When Armstead approached and asked if she had any massages that day, his tone had upset her.

She later told the Roundup that she had no intention of hurting Armstead, she just wanted him to go away.

"First of all, the man did not ask me how my day was going. He was incredibly suggestive and leaned in very close. I was already shaken by the earlier incident that morning and did not know if he was going to choke me, grab me, or ask for something sexual as his tone had overtly indicated when he asked if I was doing massages," she wrote in an e-mail.

She admitted while she had waved the gun around, she had not pulled the trigger and that she wasn’t “always this crazy,” Ortiz wrote.

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