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Atwater man in court for allegedly pulling a gun on his housemates

WILLMAR -- Michael Eugene Whitson, 64, of Atwater, made his first court appearance Monday on charges of second-degree assault and terroristic threats for allegedly threatening his housemates with a gun Friday morning.

Whitson was arrested after the Kandiyohi Co-unty Sheriff's Office Tactical Team used an armored vehicle to approach the home in the 6600 block of 159th Street Northeast, al-ong the east shore of Diamond Lake. The vehicle's public address system was used to contact Whitson.

He came out of the home and was arrested without incident.

Unconditional bail was set at $200,000 with conditional bail at $25,000. His next appearance in Kandiyohi County District Court is Aug. 30.

According to the complaint, Sheriff Dan Hartog and a deputy were dispatched to the home on a report that Whitman had threatened two people and then reached for a 9 mm handgun. They had fled the home, but Whitman was still inside.

Other deputies set up a perimeter around the home, evacuated other nearby residences and dispatched the tactical team.

The two people told deputies Whitson is the owner of the property and that they began renting the property on Jan. 1. Whitson had later returned from living out of state and had moved in and lived with them. They reported seeing Whitson sitting at the kitchen table with a handgun on the table and then him cussing them and threatening to shoot them. They had called a relative, who called law enforcement, and they fled the home.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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