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No bond for man in police shootout
A Spotsylvania County man facing four counts of attempted capital murder after a shootout that left himself and two deputies injured was denied bond Monday.
Michael Smith Antosh, 61, appeared in a wheelchair in Spotsylvania County General District Court, where Judge Ricardo Rigual determined he was still a risk to society.
“I can’t find evidence to say he has overcome this and won’t do it again,” Rigual said.
Defense attorney Peter Greenspun argued that Antosh had stopped taking medication in June that he had been taking for a bipolar disorder since the early 1990s. Ever since then, his behavior was described by his family as “more and more unusual and bizarre.”
His behavior hit a dangerous level on Aug. 31 after his wife, Marty, requested an emergency commitment order. She told police that he had a small collection of rifles and two 5-gallon buckets of ammunition.
“She said he was looking for a confrontation and [for police] to be prepared,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Bill Neely told the judge.
Authorities responded to the 10300 block of Gordon Road around noon on Aug. 31 to serve the emergency custody order on Antosh. The order, signed by a judge, required that he be placed in a mental-health facility for 72 hours for a medical evaluation. Antosh shares the home with his wife, who was not home at the time.
When police arrived that Saturday, Antosh barricaded himself in his home and threatened deputies with a high-powered rifle. During the nearly 14-hour standoff, Antosh was uncooperative, and negotiation efforts did not progress, police said.
Antosh is accused of starting to shoot from inside his home around 2:30 a.m. the next day, then coming outside with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle and continuing to fire at police.
Neely said investigators later found weapons set up in four areas of the home. He said Antosh let off about 50 rounds of ammunition at law enforcement. Police returned about 50 rounds of fire.
“He was calling to police saying, ‘Come and get me. come and get me. I got something for you,’” Neely said.
Antosh was shot and critically wounded as he ran through the garage of his home while still shooting at police, Neely said.
Stafford deputies were assisting Spotsylvania officers, and during the exchange, two Stafford deputies were wounded. Neely said one of the deputies was shot in the neck and the other was shot in the leg and chest.
“But for the bullet-resistant vest, one would have died,” he said. “He was hit right in the chest.”
Two other deputies were shot at, but not injured. Some of the bullets Antosh used were steel-tipped, Neely said. The two injured deputies were transported to Mary Washington Hospital, where they were treated and released the same day. Stafford Sheriff’s Office spokesman Bill Kennedy said the two deputies were both on paid medical leave.
Greenspun argued that Antosh—a retired Navy and commercial airline pilot—has no criminal history and is in very poor health.
“Mr. Antosh has been back on his medication and has upped his dosage and since being able to have visitors, his behavior has normalized,” Greenspun said.
Antosh had been in the hospital up until last week when he was sent to Rappahannock Regional Jail.
“All he has to do is stop [taking his medication], then he becomes a threat again,” Neely countered. “He is a proven danger to the community and especially to the police.”
About a dozen family members and friends were there to support Antosh at his bond hearing.
Greenspun said if given a bond, his family would provide 24-hour specialized care for him at home since he cannot get the treatment that he needs in jail.
Judge Rigual did not want to take a chance.
“Clearly, I think he is a risk,” he said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 20 at 1:30 p.m.
“I love you, Dad,” Antosh’s daughter Rachel yelled to him as he was taken back into police custody.
Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419