Mental Health in Question for Man Accused of False Gun Threats
The arraignment for Tom G. Rohrbach, of New Lenox, was postponed after lawyers learned he might have mental health issues. Police say he threatened to shoot up area high schools and his neighborhood.
The mental health of a New Lenox man accused of making repeated violent threats against the Lincoln-Way High School District, himself and his neighbors by telephone will be the subject of his possible arraignment next week.
Based on information relayed to prosecutors by the family of 46-year-old Tom G. Rohrbach, Judge Richard Schoenstedt postponed formal indictment one week to allow lawyers to make motions on whether the defendant is fit for trial.
Assistant public defender Stephen Whitmore, who appeared caught off guard by the news, told the court he would need a few days to prepare. Another hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, May 29.
Members of the man’s family who were present in court on Wednesday declined to comment on the condition of his mind, saying it was strictly a “family matter.”
Rohrbach, of the 700 block of Lisson Grove in New Lenox, has been charged with two counts of falsely making a terrorist threat, a Class 1 felony, and nine counts of disorderly conduct, a Class 4 felony, and has remained in jail on a $75,000 bond since his arrest May 1.
The indictment alleges that on six occasions between March 6 and April 30 Rohrbach threatened to “shoot up” various Lincoln-Way high schools and his own neighborhood on Lisson Grove. During one phone call, according to the indictment, Rohrbach threatened to kill himself.
At other times the caller was ambiguous, telling a 911 operator that he simply had a “target” and was “going to shoot it.”
If determined to be of sane mind and convicted on all counts, he could face 17 to 57 years in jail.
Appearing in court by video on Wednesday, dressed in a blue prison jumpsuit with disheveled hair and eyes, Rohrbach said he was fully understood what lawyers had said of him.
In each incident when a location was specified, police responded but found no danger. Eventually police executed a search warrant at Rohrbach's mother's home, where he lived. Two cell phones were recovered from Rohrbach's home, but no weapons, New Lenox Police Chief Bob Sterba said.
— New Lenox Patch Editor Michael Sewall contributed to this report.