Man allegedly made threats to kill Bush

October 23, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

OXNARD, Calif. -- An Oxnard man arrested Sunday with a stockpile of automatic weapons in his apartment is being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service after authorities received a tip that he told people he was planning to shoot President Bush at the Nov. 4 dedication ceremony for the Ronald Reagan Library.

The suspect, Thomas Robert Ward, 45, told a police informant he had recently scouted the hilly terrain surrounding the Simi Valley, Calif., library site searching for a spot where he could fire a clean shot at Mr. Bush, law enforcement sources said.

Authorities said they found a cache of 12 fully automatic weapons -- including an Uzi submachine gun and AK-47 assault rifles -- handguns and approximately 27,000 rounds of ammunition, when Mr. Ward was arrested at his home.

Douglas J. Carver, a U.S. Secret Service agent in charge of security for the library ceremony, said that Mr. Ward initially "denied ever making the [assassination] remarks."

During interrogation on Sunday at the Ventura County Jail, however, Mr. Ward declared that if he did make threats against Mr. Bush, "he regretted making the statements," Agent Carver said.

Mr. Ward was being held without bail.

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