- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - An Indianapolis man who allegedly fired shots into a police officer’s home as his wife and son slept inside was charged Thursday with criminal recklessness and a weapons offense in the attack that came days after a sniper killed five Dallas police officers.

March E. Ratney II, 27, was being held without bond on one count each of criminal recklessness and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Court records do not list an attorney for the Indianapolis man, whose initial hearing on the charges had been scheduled for Thursday but was cancelled and has not been rescheduled.

Ratney fired five shots early Tuesday into the home of the officer - who arrested Ratney eight years ago on a weapons charge - and three into his patrol car, authorities said. The officer, his wife and 10-year-old son were not injured.

Witnesses said Ratney shouted obscenities against police during the shooting, after which officers found 17 spent shell casings, court documents say.

Ratney, who was arrested nearby about a half-hour later, told officers he was in the area because he lives a few blocks away, but denied being involved in any shooting, a probable cause affidavit states.

Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, who said authorities won’t “tolerate attacks on our public safety partners,” stressed that there’s no evidence Ratney actually knew the officer had previously arrested him. He noted that the officer’s marked cruiser was parked in his driveway.

Curry said Ratney won’t face attempted murder charges because there must be evidence “an individual acted with an intent to kill a specific person,” and that no such evidence has emerged.

“We cannot file charges based on the fact that we are mad at someone, or because we think it is a popular decision,” Curry said at a news conference.

Ratney, who has a lengthy criminal record, was released from prison on parole in June after serving nearly six years of a 12-year sentence for his conviction on a charge of unlawful firearm possession by a serious felon.

Tuesday’s shooting came five days after a sniper killed five Dallas police officers who were standing guard as hundreds of people peacefully protested the recent fatal shootings by police of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

The officer whose house was shot is white, and Ratney is black. Documents say that Ratney was wearing a T-shirt with an obscenity directed at police on its front and the phrase “Black Lives Matter” on its back. But police Chief Troy Riggs has stressed that Ratney’s actions should not reflect in any way on the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

Riggs said Thursday he’s “very grateful” to neighbors who gave officers a description of the shooting suspect and his vehicle.

“Can you imagine today if we had not located that individual? The fear that we’d have in our community, the potential violence that could have been perpetrated against our officers, or possibly citizens?” he said.


This story has been corrected to show that Ratney was released from prison on parole, not probation.

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