Teacher Accused of Threatening Hog Tailgaters Returns From Paid Leave

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Tom Sindon, a 61-year-old music teacher arrested this month on suspicion of being drunk and threatening to take a gun to tailgaters near Razorback Stadium, has returned from paid leave and is teaching again at the Benton County School of the Arts, a school official said Tuesday.

Superintendent Paul Hines said Sindon, who is in his second year at the Rogers school, was placed on paid leave Sept. 3 and returned to his teaching duties Sept. 6.

Hines said Sindon will continue teaching as the school awaits the outcome of his legal status.

“We’re waiting for the investigation and the legal process to run its course,” Hines said.

Sindon is set to be arraigned at the Washington County Detention Center on Oct. 3, records show. At that hearing before a magistrate judge he will enter a plea and be assigned a court date.

Hines said he has discussed the arrest with Sindon but could not publicly disclose the details of the conversation because the matter is a personnel issue. Hines said he also was prohibited from discussing whether Sindon has had previous disciplinary issues.

Substitute teachers were scheduled to fill in for Sindon while he was on paid leave, Hines said. Sindon teaches students from kindergarten through fourth grade, according to the school website.

Sindon was booked into the Washington County Detention Center at 12:17 a.m. on Sunday after being arrested by university police, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website.

He faces a felony terroristic threatening charge and misdemeanor charge of public intoxication, according to the Washington County prosecuting attorney’s preliminary report. He was not administered a blood-alcohol test because such tests only are given to motorists suspected of driving while intoxicated, police said.

At about 3 p.m. Saturday, Sindon, who lives at 25 N. Brenda Dr. near Razorback Stadium, was threatening fans attending the season-opening football game between the Razorbacks and Jacksonville State, said Lt. Gary Crain of the University of Arkansas Police Department. Kickoff for the game was 6 p.m.

Sindon came out of his house twice and threatened two fans tailgating on Brenda Drive, saying he was going to get a gun, the report states. The report adds Sindon was “mad because the tailgaters were bothering him.”

Crain said campus officers intervened before Sindon could carry out the threat.

“We went and got him before he got a gun,” Crain said Monday.

Neighbors said even though it’s rare, some Razorback fans park on their property without permission.

“I’ll come home and I’ll see a car here that I don’t know and our neighbors don’t recognize,” Alan Spann said. 

“We find out quickly if they are part of this community or not and if people try to sneak on, I’ll call the tow truck,” Spann said.

Others neighbors down the road from Brenda Drive said they welcome tailgaters and those who park on their lawn.

“We do charge people to park but it’s more than just the money. Everyone is in a good mood. They are having a wonderful time, and they are hanging around. It’s fun,” Nan Deeyo said.

He was released from jail at 10:23 p.m. Sunday without bond on order from Circuit Judge William Storey, deputies said.