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Plea agreement reached in terroristic threats case

Plea agreement reached in terroristic threats case

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YORK – A plea agreement has been reached in a case involving terroristic threats in Waco.

Schuyler Tomes, 30, of Waco, has pleaded no contest to one count of terroristic threats, which is a Class 3A felony. He entered his change of plea this past week in York County District Court.

He was initially also charged with three more counts of terroristic threats, use of a firearm to commit a felony and driving under revocation. Those were all dismissed as part of a plea agreement.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed with the county court, it was Aug. 16, 2019, when a deputy with the York County Sheriff’s Department was flagged down by a group of four children at the intersection of Strickler and Midland in Waco.

“The children stated they were playing in the park in the 300 block of Midland Street when a white male in a white pickup pointed a handgun at them and fired a bullet in the air,” York County Sheriff’s Investigator Alex Hildebrand wrote in the affidavit. “A spent 9 mm Luger casing was located on the ground in the immediate vicinity. The individuals at the scene further described the individual and the vehicle involved.”

During the investigation, according to the court documents, Sheriff Paul Vrbka contacted employees at a business in that vicinity to inquire whether their video cameras would have captured the alleged incident. Upon viewing the video, it was determined that the vehicle described by the children could be seen.

“The vehicle was observed to be a white four-door Dodge pickup with a utility flatbed in place of the box,” the investigators said in the report. “The possible owner of the vehicle was identified by a tip as Schuyler Tomes. Shortly after the tip was provided, Tomes contacted the sheriff’s office and stated he was not involved and advised he was at his residence and would speak to deputies if we desired.”

Hildebrand said he, the sheriff and Lieutenant Bruce Winn went to Tomes’ residence.

“Upon arrival to the residence, I observed the above-mentioned white Dodge pickup in the driveway. Sheriff Vrbka advised Tomes of the situation and requested him to accompany us to the sheriff’s department to complete an interview.”

Tomes complied.

During that interview, Investigator Hildebrand said, “Tomes originally denied having any involvement in the situation, but did state he was in the area at the time. Tomes also denied owning a 9 mm handgun. As the interview progressed, Tomes stated he actually did have a 9 mm with him and fired a bullet into the air outside of town. Tomes stated he was not near the kids at the park when he fired the gun. He then admitted he was near the railroad tracks on Strickler Street by the park when he fired one bullet. The railroad tracks are located just south of the park. Tomes denied knowing the kids were in the park. He stated he had no idea why he did it, but acknowledged it was not smart. Tomes denied ever pointing the gun at the children.”

Investigator Hildebrand says further in the affidavit that he and Sheriff Vrbka “located the firearm and bullets used in this incident” at a location just south of Utica. “The firearm was seized and placed into evidence.”

Sentencing for the single count of terroristic threats will be held Oct. 26.

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