Scientology intruder had been in Lane jail
By Winston Ross The Register-Guard
FLORENCE – Mario Jay Majorski, shot dead on Sunday by security guards at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood, was released from the Lane County Jail because of overcrowding two weeks ago, the same day he was arrested by Eugene police on charges of criminal trespass and harassing a police officer at the Executive House motel on West Sixth Avenue.
The Florence resident previously had been convicted of stalking a Lane County judge, and he was charged last month in Florence with menacing a AAA representative.
The 48-year-old former member of the church was killed by security guards at the Scientology building in what Los Angeles police called a justified shooting after he threatened to stab the guards with two samurai swords.
“This is just one more example of what happens when your criminal justice system breaks down,” Lane County District Attorney Doug Harcleroad said. “When people are released from jail (too early), bad things happen. New crimes are committed, or in this particular case, an individual met his demise. It’s very unfortunate.”
Los Angeles police Detective Wendi Berndt said Monday that Majorski drove up to the church and confronted several security guards with the swords, threatening repeatedly to kill them. The guards pushed Majorski back toward his vehicle, but eventually had to use deadly force, Berndt said.
“There was video of the whole incident. It’s very compelling, very clear that the suspect in this case was attempting to kill somebody,” Berndt said.
Berndt said it’s unclear why Majorski went to the church. Though he did have a “previous relationship” with Scientology, it was a long time ago and he was not a current member.
“It’s clear from looking at the video there’s mental health issues,” Berndt said. “In talking with the jurisdiction in your area and hearing some of the incidents, it confirms the person did have mental health issues.”
In 1993, Majorski was listed as a plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by the Church of Scientology in Santa Monica Superior Court against a nationally known psychiatrist and professor at the University of California Los Angeles, who was an outspoken critic of the church.
Majorski was a student at UCLA at the time. He and a classmate, John Van Dyke, sued Dr. Louis J. West on behalf of the church for waging “a smear campaign of religious intolerance and hatred on university time.” The lawsuit was dismissed.
Majorski has since had en-counters with local authorities.
In June 2007, he was convicted of two misdemeanor counts of stalking Lane County Circuit Judge Debra Vogt with a dangerous weapon, after “repeated and unwanted contact” with the judge, and sentenced to probation. The charges came “after a case in which he did not like her decision and had made threats against her,” according to a news release issued Monday by Lane County Sheriff Russ Burger.
On Oct. 26, officers in Florence responded to a phone call from a representative for AAA, whom Majorski reportedly was threatening with an ax.
Majorski had called AAA because he ran out of gas in the middle of Munsel Lake Road, according to a police report.
The representative, Doug Bushwar, told police he arrived with a can of gas and found Majorski standing on the passenger side of his Toyota pickup, which had its flashers on. Behind the truck, there were “small kids’ toys lined up in a row on the street,” Bushwar told the officer. “He thought this looked very strange,” the report said.
When Bushwar approached, Majorski became upset and agitated, according to the report, yelling at Bushwar to stay where he was, then threatening him and ultimately telling him to leave. Bushwar tried to explain who he was and to calm Majorski down, but Majorski grabbed an ax from the truck and threatened Bushwar with it, according to the report.
Florence police officer Brian Goss arrived to find Majorski walking down Munsel Lake Road. Goss asked Majorski to talk to him, but Majorski walked away yelling and cursing, eventually threatening to shoot Goss. Majorski eventually ran into a nearby house, came to a window and told Goss he had hostages inside, then he came back outside and stormed about the yard.
“He told us we have rifles aimed at our heads right now and that at his count of three we would be executed,” Goss wrote. “He then counted to three.”
Majorski also said there were explosives in the house. Another officer eventually got handcuffs on Majorski, who was arrested for menacing and disorderly conduct. He pleaded not guilty to the menacing charge and was scheduled to appear in court on the other charge in December.
Majorski made three financially disastrous forays into the Eugene-Springfield real estate investment market in 2004. He bought three rental properties with about $550,000 of his own cash, plus high-interest-rate mortgages totaling about $350,000, then quickly fell behind on payments on all three properties. Facing foreclosures, he sold the properties for much less than he had paid, according to deeds and mortgages filed with Lane County.
In March 2004, Majorski paid $241,000 for a four-unit apartment building at 141 16th St. in Springfield. Later that year he fell behind on mortgage payments, and, facing foreclosure, he sold the property in July 2007 to investors for $180,000.
In February 2004, Majorski paid $273,000 for a duplex at 1180 W. 25th Ave. in Eugene. He fell behind on mortgage payments later that year, and, facing foreclosure, sold the building in 2006 for $200,000.
Also in February 2004, he paid $375,000 for a five-unit apartment building at 2140 Roosevelt Blvd. in Eugene. Before the end of the year, he was failing to make mortgage payments and facing foreclosure. He sold the property in September 2007 for $365,000.
At the time of his death, Majorski still owned one Lane County property, a house at 3210 Munsel Lake Road in Florence that he bought in October 2007 for $155,000 from Wells Fargo Bank. The bank had foreclosed on the property after its previous owner defaulted.
Neighbors on Munsel Lake said Majorski could be strange.
“He just had his off-the-wall moments,” said Dale Dotson, who lives on Majorski’s street. “He would just kind of babble, be out in his driveway just babbling to himself. He seemed harmless enough.”
Lester Potter, who lived next door to Majorski, said “he spent his money like it was no problem” on repairs to the home he moved into about a year ago, including gargoyle statues in the yard. Majorski told Potter he was a writer.
Detective Wendt said the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office would make an official ruling this week on whether Majorski’s death was justified.
The Register-Guard’s Whitney Malkin and Christian Wihtol contributed to this report.
Scientology intruder had been in Lane jail.