Sitting in his house with his 92-year old mother-in-law, Mark Taylor saw a stranger dart by the room and open Taylor’s garage door. When Taylor pursued, he found himself face-to-face with his neighbor, Michael Hosey, who appeared to be out of his mind.
“He [was] in a crazed kind of — when I look at it now — a drug-induced kind of craziness,” Taylor says of his encounter with Hosey. “He [came] racing, and I start[ed] screaming at him to get out of the house.”
Taylor followed as Hosey ran across the street and entered another neighbor’s backyard, his arms in the air and mouth mumbling, “My sister.” Witnesses say Hosey was wildly hunting for something. Taylor witnessed the entire April 9 event and managed to capture much of it on video before calling the police.
But in the weeks since the disturbing episode, neighbors were horrified at the perpetrator’s reappearance in the neighborhood after he was released on bail. The Conejo Guardian gave all witnesses pseudonyms to respect their requests for anonymity.
Elise Rogers, a Baywater resident, recalled her experience for the Conejo Guardian. Rogers and her daughter were in their kitchen around lunchtime when they spotted a strange man in their backyard.
“He was frantically searching for something, looking,” she says. “I thought he lost a pet or something.”
Rogers locked the door.
“He just looked at us and looked around and then jumped over the wall to the neighbor’s house,” she adds.
Hosey re-entered Rogers’ property, standing on the front wall and looking down the street. Taylor began videotaping when he saw Hosey crawl back up the wall.
“He looked at me, hopped down off the fence, went into the middle of the street, and started walking to the intersection of Baywater and Queensway,” Taylor says.
Hosey began looking in people’s windows and trying their doors. Amidst the frenzy, he turned and addressed Taylor.
“He waved at me saying, ‘Call 911,’” Taylor says. “It was bizarre.”
Hosey made his way into another resident’s backyard, shattered a window, and exited the opposite side gate. After slaloming up the street, Hosey tried a few doors in a row of houses, and at the last house, he pulled out a gun. He shot at the front of the house, then made his way into the backyard. Taylor remembers hearing the first shots fired.
“It was like a pop then a pop-pop,” he says. “Being a firearm owner, I know what that sounds like, and it was very distinct.”
The mother of the house ran upstairs upon hearing shots at their front door. Hosey saw her on the balcony and unloaded the rest of his magazine in an unknown direction. He ran through the shattered sliding glass door up to the master bedroom to find the woman and her daughter calling 911. Hosey came within a few feet of the near-victims, then dropped the gun at the top of the stairs and walked out of the house.
The first police officer arrived in time to hear the second round of shots. Taylor gave him a rundown of the situation.
“The whole world broke loose with T.O. police and Ventura sheriffs,” Taylor recalls.
The police told residents that nearly every officer in Thousand Oaks reported to Baywater. Rogers also saw ambulances and a fire truck arrive on the scene. The officers apprehended Hosey on the driveway and put him in the squad car, from which he violently struggled to escape. With that, the once-peaceful Baywater street became a crime scene. Police officers gathered discharged shells and searched Hosey’s residence. They found ammunition and guns allegedly belonging to Hosey’s stepfather, who had been a gun collector.
On the day of the incident, Bryan Deller, a fellow neighbor, was approached by Hosey’s wife.
“She sa[id], ‘Well, I’m the wife of the crazy guy. I’m thinking about divorcing him, and I want to know, should I be worried?’” Deller tells the Conejo Guardian.
In February, the perpetrator had begun moving himself and his mother, Tava Marie Hosey, into her Baywater house, with the plan of eventually moving his family in as well. According to one neighbor’s estimate, the Baywater house had incurred city and other fines amounting to $25,000. Gates and fences were in disrepair, and tall weeds cluttered the lawn. Hosey told his neighbors that his sister was taking money intended for the house from the family trust and that he would bring the home up to par. However, he made only small, infrequent efforts, including trimming one bush and leaving the foliage scattered on the lawn for weeks.
“He seemed a little tweaky. I don’t know how else to say it. He was kind of squirmy,” Deller recalls of his first interaction with Hosey.
Nevertheless, he gave Hosey recommendations for a gardener, and another neighbor lent him tools. Before Hosey’s outbreak, a dumpster appeared in front of the home, and neighbors thought they might see some progress. Just one day later, Hosey terrorized his neighbors. Baywater residents breathed a deep sigh of relief when the police took Hosey into custody.
“We’re all thinking, okay, this guy’s going to jail. This incident’s kind of over,” Deller explains. “He was back at the house three days later.”
The court released Hosey on a restraining order, stipulating that he is not to go within a hundred yards of the house he shot. But in order to get to his mother’s house, Hosey must pass within one hundred yards of the house he shot, so his restraint was reduced to allow passage to her residence.
Neighbors are shocked, dismayed and disgusted to see the man who so recently threatened their lives and security, not only released from custody but living on their street.
“As we are talking, he’s driving by in his car,” Taylor told the Conejo Guardian during his interview. “It is just ridiculous. This person who empties a magazine at someone’s house, threatens them, is out on the street by just giving a thumbprint and no consequences?“
“We completely fail to understand how he was granted bail so quickly without any consequences and why he’s allowed to roam around free like nothing happened,” says Emily May, next-door neighbor to the mother and daughter.
“Most of my anger is for the court system to allow him to be out,” Taylor shares.
Deller shares his explanation of the quick release: “It’s because of the state laws during COVID and the overriding of the voters on no cash bail and release terms.”
A handful of residents keep each other in the loop on Hosey’s actions and whereabouts. Rogers notes that there always seem to be police cars on the street. The traumatized mother and daughter have been staying in a hotel.
Recently, Hosey went out of state (Courts allowed him to travel to Nevada and Louisana), leaving his mom and a caregiver in the home. Hosey’s court hearing also got extended. The residents of Baywater balk at the court’s leniency with Hosey. The only immediate repercussions have been potential HOA fines for repeated negligence of property upkeep.
Kids don’t feel safe going outside; neighbors lock every door. The area is on high alert.
“Everyone on the block is nervous about his movements,” Taylor says. “Everybody’s watching out.”