Gary Indiana Police Officer David B. Finley Arrested On Federal Drug And Weapon Charges

August 31, 2012

GARY, INDIANA – A Gary, Ind., police officer was arrested Tuesday morning and is facing prison time on federal drug and weapons charges.

David B. Finley, 31, was arrested in Hammond following a weeks-long investigation by the FBI and the Gary Police Department.

Finley has been involved in drug sales and even used his position as an officer to get a discount on a gun purchase for someone who didn’t qualify, the Post-Tribune reported, citing officials and sources.

“The vast majority of the men and women of the Gary Police Department are honest and hardworking people. This arrest should be a reminder to any officer who decides to cross the line and break the law that they will be arrested and prosecuted,” said Gary Chief Wade Ingram.

Finley is set to appear in court on Friday.

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Packs Of Savage Black Beasts Brawl – In Vigo County Indiana Courthouse, Spilling Onto Front Lawn

August 30, 2012

TERRE HAUTE, INDIANA –  Tensions ran high inside an Indiana courthouse Tuesday, after a hearing for a murder case.

The brawl at the Vigo County Courthouse followed a deadly shooting outside a bar in Terre Haute Friday.

The suspected shooter appeared via teleconference for this first hearing, and afterward his supporters began fighting with supporters for the victim.

The brawl started in the courthouse halls and spilled onto the front lawn before police broke it up.

The people involved could face charges.

“Let us do our job. Let the system work, and don’t try to take justice into your own hands, or otherwise we’re going to have to charge you and you’re going to be arrested and you’re going to be in jail, so…that’s the worst thing.. It makes it worse for everybody involved,” says Prosecutor Terry Modessit.

A 17-year-old girl was arrested on a warrant, after officers received reports that she hid a knife under a bush.

No one was hurt.

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Man Shoots Bystander And Indiana Police, Police Shoot Police Dog – 18 Law Enforcement Agencies And 4 SWAT Teams Lock Down Entire Town, But Man Gets Away And Kills Himself

July 28, 2012

PENDLETON, INDIANA – Kenneth James Bailey Jr. threatened violence against strangers and he delivered, shooting an innocent bystander dead and wounding two police officers before killing himself, authorities said.

The melee also resulted in the fatal shooting of a police dog by officers.

Police in Pendleton, Indiana, responded Thursday night to a report of shots fired. When they arrived, they were met with immediate and “overwhelming” gunfire from the suspect, according to a statement from police in nearby Anderson, Indiana.

The responding officer, Pendleton police Sgt. Shane Isaacs, “was ambushed by the suspect,” according to a Pendleton police statement.

Isaacs was shot multiple times in the legs by the suspect before finding cover from the array of bullets, Pendleton police said.

Anderson police Officer Marty Dulworth was also injured from the suspect’s gunfire, authorities said.

A total of 18 law enforcement agencies arrived at the scene. After the shootout, the suspect escaped, launching a six-hour manhunt.

The suspect’s body was eventually found a block away.

Police believe Bailey, 59, shot himself sometime after authorities locked down the town of Pendleton, preventing anyone from leaving the area.

Authorities believe Bailey was in the neighborhood to confront his estranged wife, Claudia, whom he had been separated from for about 10 months, Pendleton police said.

According to Madison County court documents obtained by CNN affiliate WRTV, Claudia Bailey filed paperwork Thursday requesting a restraining order against Kenneth Bailey. In it, she cited multiple threats, including a 2010 report in which Kenneth Bailey allegedly said he wanted to “blow everyone away” at the store where she worked.

Claudia Bailey also wrote that as recently as a few weeks ago, Kenneth Bailey threatened that if he ever found her with anyone else, “he’d just shoot us from a distance where we stand.”

“I’m scared he would. I’m looking over my shoulder,” she wrote.

A magistrate granted the restraining order Thursday, but it is not clear if Kenneth Bailey received the paperwork before Thursday night’s incident.

Shortly after the shootout, police discovered that the initial shots also struck nearby resident John Neal Shull Jr., who was sitting in his vehicle and had been blocked in traffic by the suspect’s vehicle. Shull was killed.

“There is an innocent victim, he’s a resident of the town, he’s been a friend of mine for years, and he is deceased,” Pendleton Police Chief Marc Farrer tearfully said in a press conference. “Innocent victim, totally in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The suspect was armed with a pistol and large capacity magazine, an assault rifle, a flak jacket and gas masks, Farrer said.

“He came with an ill intent,” he said.

Four tactical SWAT teams were among the departments that responded to the scene. They helped move families from their homes in the early morning hours Friday as police set up a perimeter and searched for the suspect, Farrer said.

Hundreds of people gathered in a Pendleton church Friday night for a vigil in honor of Shull, the man shot dead in his car, CNN affiliate WXIN reported.

Earlier in the day, Shull’s wife Noelle told WXIN she is at a loss for answers.

“Why? What was the purpose in this man shooting my husband who was only trying to come home?”

John Shull was a business owner and a volunteer in the Kiwanis club, Pendleton police added.

The shootout also led to the death of an Anderson canine officer named Kilo.

“When Officer Dulworth was shot, Kilo, in the midst of the surrounding gunfire and reacting to the loss of his handler, mistook one of the officers as an aggressor and attacked him, biting him several times,” Anderson police said in a statement. “The officers found themselves faced with a confused K-9 and an armed suspect firing upon them.”

Police said officers were forced to shoot Kilo during the chaos.

Kilo followed his instinct to protect his handler to the very end, police said.

Kilo had been partnered with Dulworth since 2010. He was the first Anderson police dog to die in the line of duty.

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Former New Albany Indiana Police Officer Charles Bowman Arrested And Charged With Child Abuse And Neglect – Girlfriend’s 2 Year Old Had Skull Fracture, Bruises Everywhere, And A Black Eye

July 25, 2012

LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY – A former New Albany, Ind. police officer has been arrested and charged with child abuse in Bullitt County, Ky.

Earlier this month, police arrested Charles Bowman. Police say he physically abused his girlfriend’s 2-year-old son.

“He was charged with child neglect and abuse. The mother was also charged with the same thing,” said Lt. Scotty McGaha, with the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Office.

Lt. McGaha described some of the child’s injuries. McGaha said, “The child had a skull fracture, had bruising, had a black eye, had bruising throughout the body.”

And police got involved after an employee at the child’s daycare noticed bruises and contacted child protective services.

“We have a check system in place for every child that enters our center,” said Lettisha Coleman, Director of Today’s Kids in Shephardsville. Coleman made the call to child protective services. She can’t comment on the case, but said they keep a daily journal for every child and that helps spot signs of abuse.

“We are trained to spot the abuse and know where things and places that aren’t suppose to be bruised,” said Coleman.

Meanwhile, police say medical experts have confirmed this was no accident.

The 2-year-old child is expected to make a full recovery. He has also been removed from the home and placed with relatives.

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Nutcase Indianapolis Indiana Police Officer Charged With Stalking After Four Hour Valentine’s Day Stand-Off – Violated Restraining Order 26 Times, Followed Victim In Police Vehicle, Threatened To Kill Himself

July 21, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – In the five months since he held fellow police at bay in a Northside park, Craig Ratcliff’s life has remained in upheaval.

He’s been on paid administrative leave since Valentine’s Day, when SWAT negotiators spent four hours convincing the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department patrolman to come down from a hill in Tarkington Park without harming himself. He underwent court-ordered therapy for psychological stress, and attempted suicide, court documents say, taking an overdose of pills on March 27.

Also during the past five months, Ratcliff has continued to stalk and harass a woman who has been the object of his obsession for years, according to Marion County prosecutors who charged him Thursday. He faces three felony counts of stalking, one misdemeanor count of battery and 26 misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy.

Ratcliff, 54, was held Thursday in the Marion County Jail. He has been placed on unpaid leave, said IMPD Sgt. Linda Jackson, pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings and an internal investigation. Asked the amount of money Ratcliff received during his leave, Jackson said she would look into it; she had not provided a figure by late Thursday.

Investigators in February would not say what triggered the incident in Tarkington Park, but the affidavit released Thursday by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office made clear that it pertained to Ratcliff’s relationship with a woman named Miguelina Reyes.

The woman, after breaking off a relationship with the officer, had sought and received a protective order against him, the document states. Ratcliff, it alleges, repeatedly violated the order — 26 times, in fact. The document indicates Ratcliff continually called and texted the woman and repeatedly sent her flowers against her wishes.

He also occasionally followed her to her workplace in his police vehicle, the document alleges.

On one occasion in early 2011, the document states, Ratcliff threatened to kill himself after Reyes declined a marriage proposal.

Ratcliff’s alleged offenses occurred between Sept. 1, 2011 — months before the standoff — and April 30, months after the standoff, according to the affidavit.

The battery charge stems from an incident on Jan. 8, 2011, at a local club when Ratcliff, angry that Reyes would not say she was “his lady,” allegedly grabbed the woman in a choke hold, causing bruises, the document states.

“In any case involving domestic violence allegations, we take those very seriously,” said David Rimstidt, Marion County’s chief deputy prosecutor. “We have a division that is entirely dedicated to cases involving domestic violence..?.?. Protecting the victims of domestic violence is our job one.”

The most serious charge, stalking with a deadly weapon, is a B felony that carries a sentence of six to 20 years, Rimstidt noted. The charge implies that Ratcliff stalked Reyes while armed with a deadly weapon — in this case, his IMPD service revolver.

On that count alone, investigators documented 48 occasions on which Ratcliff allegedly committed that offense.

Adding in the additional prison time possible under each charge, Ratcliff could face “a lengthy exposure to criminal sentence,” Rimstidt noted, though he said the officer’s lack of any previous criminal record might make a maximum sentence less likely.

The officer was married to another woman during parts of his relationship with Reyes, the document states, and the woman first broke off the relationship in April 2009 when she learned of Ratcliff’s marriage.

This year on Feb. 14, Ratcliff went to Reyes’ home, according to the affidavit, and tried to present her gifts and a ring. He asked her again to be his lady. Reyes again declined. A short time later, Ratcliff was still toting Valentine’s Day gifts while standing on the small hill in the park in full uniform, with a gun at his side and a cell phone to his ear. Traffic in the area was tied up for hours while a police negotiator, a pastor and family members tried to persuade him to give himself up.

Ratcliff surrendered that day at 1 p.m. and was placed in an ambulance that took him to Wishard Memorial Hospital for psychological evaluation and treatment. No shots were fired, and no one was injured. Police said Ratcliff was carrying a small box of candy, a greeting card and a stuffed Minnie Mouse.

A search of his home afterward led officers to one room that was empty, according to the affidavit released Thursday — empty except for a framed photo of Reyes, propped on the floor against a lighted angel statue.

Reyes told investigators Ratcliff had told her about the photo in the room, the affidavit said, though Reyes said she had never seen it. Ratcliff told her one day he and Reyes would stay in that room when she came to live with him. Reyes repeatedly told Ratcliff that day would never come, she told detectives, according to the affidavit.

Ratcliff’s bond was set at $250,000. No initial court hearing had been scheduled as of Thursday afternoon.

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Bogus Battery Charge Dropped After Coach’s Arrest By Fishers Indiana Police – Man Only Broke Up Catfight Between Two Players

July 12, 2012

FISHERS, INDIANA — An Indiana prosecutor said Thursday that criminal charges won’t be pursued against a Wisconsin girls basketball coach who was arrested after one of his teenage players told police he attacked her after a loss.

Fred Freeman, 47, of Hartford, Wis., had been jailed on a preliminary misdemeanor battery charge after the Monday scuffle, which involved a 17-year-old player from a traveling youth basketball team, at a sports complex in the Indianapolis suburb of Fishers.

Hamilton County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeff Wehmueller said the decision not to file charges against Freeman came after investigators talked with more witnesses.

“We had some independent witnesses who saw that this coach was breaking up a fight between two of the girls on the team,” Wehmueller told The Associated Press.
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Dumbass Evansville Indiana Police Bring News Crew Along On Violent SWAT Attack On Wrong House That Catches Innocent 18 Year Old Woman Watching TV

June 29, 2012

EVANSVILLE, INDIANA – The long-standing, heavily documented militarization of even small-town American police forces was always going to create problems when it met anonymous Internet threats. And so it has, again—this time in Evansville, Indiana, where officers acted on some Topix postings threatening violence against local police. They then sent an entire SWAT unit to execute a search warrant on a local house, one in which the front door was open and an 18-year old woman sat inside watching TV.

The cops brought along TV cameras, inviting a local reporter to film the glorious operation. In the resulting video, you can watch the SWAT team, decked out in black bulletproof vests and helmets and carrying window and door smashers, creep slowly up to the house. At some point, they apparently “knock” and announce their presence—though not with the goal of getting anyone to come to the door. As the local police chief admitted later to the Evansville Courier & Press, the process is really just “designed to distract.” (SWAT does not need to wait for a response.)

Officers break the screen door and a window, tossing a flashbang into the house—which you can see explode in the video. A second flashbang gets tossed in for good measure a moment later. SWAT enters the house.

On the news that night, the reporter ends his piece by talking about how this is “an investigation that hits home for many of these brave officers.”

But the family in the home was released without any charges as police realized their mistake. Turns out the home had an open WiFi router, and the threats had been made by someone outside the house. Whoops.

So the cops did some more investigation and decided that the threats had come from a house on the same street. This time, apparently recognizing they had gone a little nuts on the first raid, the police department didn’t send a SWAT team at all. Despite believing that they now had the right location and that a threat-making bomber lurked within, they just sent officers up to the door.

“We did surveillance on the house, we knew that there were little kids there, so we decided we weren’t going to use the SWAT team,” the police chief told the paper after the second raid. “We did have one officer with a ram to hit the door in case they refused to open the door. That didn’t happen, so we didn’t need to use it.”

Their target appears to be a teenager who admits to the paper that he has a “smart mouth,” dislikes the cops, and owns a smartphone—but who denies using it to make the threats.

While the open WiFi issue has caused many problems over the last five years—especially in child porn cases—the FBI is becoming more savvy about how it executes search warrants. As we noted last December, a well-run FBI child porn investigation (also in Indiana) took rather obvious precautions before executing a warrant:

On April 30, two FBI special agents drove past the Carmel home and noted the existence of two WiFi networks reachable from the property. One used WEP encryption, the other had the more robust WPA2, but the key point from the FBI’s perspective was that neither network was unsecured. A search thus seemed much more likely to find its proper target.

Because most people aren’t stupid enough to make obvious threats from their own home Internet connection, the corollary principle also holds: if a home does have an open WiFi connection, investigators might want to ease away from the flashbangs-and-SWAT-team approach; the threat of getting it wrong is a real one.

But Evansville police aren’t backing down from their initial SWAT raid (read more about their later justification for using such force). And the targets of that raid aren’t pleased. As the owner of the first house told the paper, “The front door was open. It’s not like anyone was in there hiding. To bring a whole SWAT team seems a little excessive.”

The city will be paying to repair the damage it caused.

Not that all Evansville residents think the SWAT raid was in any way improper. Writing on the same Topix message boards where the initial threats emanated, one resident responded to critics: “They had a warrant. Sometimes warrants turn up nothing. Her home was repaired. On with your life now crusader!!! Lol”

“Noodle heads come on here thinking they are just big bad asses, threatening cops and their families,” wrote another, “then the cops come back and bitch slap them with SWAT teams and flash bang grenades. Awesome. Teach these fools a lesson and make examples out of them.”

But when all you have is an IP address, some non-trivial percentage of the time you teach a lesson to the wrong fools.

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