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April 13, 2013
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Bail reduced for man who threatened neighbors

Bail was reduced to $1,500 cash Friday for a Gardnerville Ranchos man who was taken into custody after he asked his mother to contact the sheriff’s office because he was afraid he would kill his neighbors.

Michael Tom, 27, was in Douglas County Jail on an allegation of threatening to commit an offense against persons or property, stemming from a March 11 call to the sheriff’s office by his mother.

When Tom was taken into custody, he was found sleeping in bed with a loaded AR-15 .223-caliber rifle.

A second rifle, a Remington 30-06 with a 3-by-9 Bushnell scope, was also found in the bedroom.

Both weapons, along with four 30-round magazines, were confiscated.

According to reports, Tom has been diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic, and said he heard voices in his head that told him his neighbors were out to get him.

He gave his mother a note that read, “Mom, you need to call the police. I’m seriously thinking about killing these people.”

According to court documents, threats from the neighbors were nonexistent.

Seven law enforcement personnel responded to Tom’s residence in the 700 block of Bluerock and took him into custody without incident.

Tom told an investigator he purchased the rifles from a Reno gun store, and had “passed the Brady check.”

He reportedly had been sleeping with a loaded rifle for about a month because he said he needed protection.

If Tom bails out of jail, he is forbidden to have firearms, weapons, or concealable weapons, and is subject to search and seizure.

Tom must provide proof of the sale of all firearms prior to his release, and maintain contact with his mental health provider.

The Department of Alternative Sentencing is authorized to make sure the residence is cleared of all firearms, weapons and conceable weapons prior to his release.

The department also has discretion to request removal from the home or Tom’s possession pellet guns, BB guns and hunting knives.

The terms are in effect until Oct. 10, at which time the bail will be exonerated.

Tom has previously been convicted of domestic battery and driving under the influence.

In March 2005, he was arrested after he and a friend were stopped in their vehicle at Highway 395 and Ironwood Drive in Minden.

At the time, Tom had three loaded rifles and shotguns in the car. According to deputies, Tom threatened to commit suicide “and take all of Pau-Wa-Lu (Middle School) with me.”

He pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and was placed on probation. Three days later, he was arrested at his Reno apartment after officers found alcohol and a throwing knife. He had multiple violations until his probation was revoked, and Tom was ordered to serve a year in Douglas County Jail in 2005.

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The Record Courier Updated Apr 13, 2013 02:34PM Published Apr 13, 2013 02:34PM Copyright 2013 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.