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Cloverdale man charged for possessing gun at bus stop

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A 46-year-old Cloverdale man is facing felony charges after allegedly showing up at a bus stop with a shotgun and attempting to enter a school bus while carrying it.

In an incident occurring Dec. 6 -- more than a week before the tragic events in Newtown, Conn., have again thrust schools and guns into the spotlight -- Henry T. Tillberry Jr. reportedly possessed shotgun at the school bus stop and then attempted to enter a Cloverdale Community School Corporation bus.

There were six students and driver Dennis Flory on board the bus at the time of the 7:03 a.m. incident at what is known as the Tillberry/Casteel stop.

Court records indicate Tillberry did not display the firearm in a threatening manner, keeping it at his side. He left peacefully after his conversation with the bus driver, court documents added.

The Putnam County Prosecutor's Office has filed a charge of attempted possession of a firearm on a school bus, a Class D felony. A Class D felony is punishable by imprisonment from six months to three years and a fine of up to $10,000.

Tillberry made an initial appearance in Putnam Superior Court Monday afternoon with Judge Denny Bridges entering a not guilty plea on his behalf.

Tillberry, who was picked up on an arrest warrant at 10:10 a.m. Monday, was released from the Putnam County Jail on $10,000 bond (10 percent allowable) at 6 p.m. Monday.

At the state's request, Judge Bridges issued a no-contact order against Tillberry in regard to both the school and the school bus.

Appearing before Judge Bridges, Tillberry said he was carrying the shotgun because he "had issues" with a neighbor's pit bulls. The defendant said as soon as he would be able to speak with Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter, the issue would "be squashed."

According to the probable cause affidavit, school bus driver Flory advised that Tillberry "started to get on the bus with the shotgun," and Flory told him "he could not get on the bus with it."

Tillberry reportedly told the bus driver he wanted "to discuss a prior incident between the Tillberry children and the Casteel children."

The probable cause affidavit also notes that bus security video shows a person standing at the bus doors with one foot on the bottom step before being ordered not to board with the gun.

"A conversation ensued between Mr. Tillberry and Mr. Flory," it continues, "whereas Tillberry explained that he wanted Flory to start picking his child up at a different location due to an incident with neighbors."

After informing Flory of that request, Tillberry was told by the bus driver "not to bring a gun to the bus stop again."

The probable cause states that Tillberry claimed "he had no choice because he had to protect himself from the Casteels' dogs."

Flory told Putnam County Sheriff's Department Det. Pat McFadden that he had never seen the Casteels' dogs at the bus stop, however, he has seen Tillberry's dogs at the site.

Tilberry is due back in court for an 8:30 a.m. pretrial conference on Feb. 13.

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Inexcusable! You DO NOT show up at a bus stop with a gun. For any reason. If he needed to speak to the bus driver about picking his children up at a different location, and he felt that he couldnt do that because of the dogs, then all he had to do was call the bus barn. They would have told him how to get in contact with the bus driver by telephone. I'm not saying he should get the maximum penalty, but he does deserve some sort of punishment to show that this type of thing will not be tolerated.

-- Posted by putnammom on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 12:43 AM

With all the school issues and guns I cannot believe that this man is out on bond!!

-- Posted by Nit on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 8:39 AM

Nothing illegal, or newsworthy about having a gun at a bus stop. Pity he was dumb enough to step on the bus.

-- Posted by bobbittle on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 8:42 AM

This happened Dec. 6th and we are just hearing about it! And yes, why is he out on bond! Judge Bridges you might as well has told him it's okay, I'm going to slap you on the hand. What if he had gotten angry with his neighbor,guns are NOT the answer. I understand his fear for his kids about the dogs, but it should have been handled by contacting the police and the bus barn. Not by carring a gun.

-- Posted by stealthmode on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 8:49 AM

Please....the gun wasn't the problem. The problem was the idiot carrying it.

-- Posted by Momma78 on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 9:23 AM

There is no shortage of stupid people carrying guns. The threat of either malicious intent, or just stupid behavior exists with a ball bat, a sheathed or pocketed knife or anything capable of causing harm as much as with the gun.

It is my opinion that stupid people will do stupid things. Dangerous people, intelligent or not, will be dangerous with or without a gun.

-- Posted by Rlmiller on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 1:06 PM

Wow - the knee jerk reactions & comments by emotionally driven people (putnammom, stealthmode, et al) is appalling.

This guy was carrying a shotgun. That's not illegal. He was at a "bus stop" - which could've been at the end of a common drive or county road for all you know.

He stepped onto the bus (one foot) to talk to the bus driver in a non-menacing fashion about some problems between his kids and neighbor kids. The bus driver told him that he cannot come on the bus with the shotgun & the guy steps off.

I think the charges should be dropped, this man should be apologized to for being arrested, locked up, and otherwise bothered when a simple visit by a county deputy (or other law enforcement officer) to investigate the situation would've been just as effective.

He was carrying the gun as protection against the neighbor's dogs. Pitbulls are very dangerous.

-- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 1:47 PM

This guy has more issues than the dogs.Not very bright.

-- Posted by garybell on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 1:47 PM

Hooray dreadpirateroberts! I agree! A shoot gun might have been a little extreme but that might have been all he had but hey we live in a rural town it is not uncommon to see this! Would you rather see the children mauled by a dog?

-- Posted by kallycoe on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 1:56 PM

The dogs are locked up on a log chain.. they are never lose... did you NOT read the bus drivers statement? I am all about the 2nd amendment being a life time member of the NRA.. Its not at the end of the drive, its on the corner or a gravel road. The police have been out several times to "talk" to him about his behavior as you suggested mr dreadpirateroberts, but that did NOT work... He has shot at them before.. that my friend is a problem.. Again.. hes a 46 year old male starting this with teenage females.. again that is a problem. And pit bulls are only made to be dangerous if they are brought up that way, and trust me the ONE pitbull that they have is not.. and the other dogs are lazy weiner dogs.. how dangerous can a weiner dog really be? Apparently there is more than one idiot in this town...

-- Posted by Kbrennan on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 2:21 PM

Okay those are my neighbors and these are MY dogs he is talking about so let me explain some things to you all.... One this has nothing to do with my dogs. His 7 year old little boy tells him that we are gonna sick our dogs on him really what person in this world would do that. Two my dogs are protective of their house but they DO NOT ATTACK and on top of that they would never hurt a little kid because they have been around kids their entire life and all they will do is lick them wow thats a ton of hurt isnt it. Three this guy pulls out a loaded shot gun to me, my boyfriend, and his two sisters and puts it in our face and tells my boyfriend he will shoot him all over our 6 month old puppies going over there which are not pitbulls. Four he is the one who had an aggressive pitbull who attacked and killed two of his horses and he attempted to stab it to death and run it over with his van because he starved it and it found food. Wow. Just because ppl give pitbulls bad names doesnt mean there arent ppl out there that care about their pitbulls like they were their kids. I rescued mine when they were both puppies and i wouldnt own a mean dog, ive done all in my power to make sure that they arent mean. So ppl who think that his charges should be dropped are stupid. There was no need for a gun at the bus stop because my dogs dont run the neighborhood they are fully inside dogs unless they go out on their LOG CHAINS to go potty and come right back in... So therefore his excuse in court doesnt have anything to back himself up. We have had the police out over and over again about these ppl and honestly the best thing for everyone is for him to be locked up because there is more behind him then what anyone sees. Thanks. (:

-- Posted by alyssajane723 on Wed, Dec 19, 2012, at 4:01 PM

To dreadpirateroberts,

Please tell me what you thought was so appaling about my comment, the fact that I thought he should have called the police and or the bus barn, or I felt he should not be carring a gun when confronting a school bus driver, or anybody.

If someone has a gun and approaches me, How am I suppost to know he's "freindly"? I have no problem with guns, we own several, but I don't carry one with me when I'm angry. I understand he's fear of the dogs, but he had other ways to deal with this.

-- Posted by stealthmode on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 8:45 AM

Children should never have to see an adult approach their bus with a gun unless it's a law enforcement officer with a very good reason. Sounds like this guy is missing a few brain circuits.

-- Posted by Ben Dover on Thu, Dec 20, 2012, at 10:10 AM

Thank you Ben Dover!You said what I tried to say.

-- Posted by stealthmode on Fri, Dec 21, 2012, at 8:17 AM

I'm surprised no one else had brought this up. But if there was kids on the bus why would the bus driver even open the door to the obvislouly armed man. He should have just drove off and called the police. Never opening the door. He didnt know at the time what the guys intentions were.

-- Posted by Cdalemom on Fri, Dec 21, 2012, at 8:20 AM

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