DANVILLE, Ind. — A 31-year-old Plainfield man is under arrest and facing a lengthy list of felony and misdemeanor charges after police said he committed a series of crimes Tuesday night.
According to the Danville Metropolitan Police Department, a 911 hang up call to the Hendricks County Communications Center around 9 p.m. Tuesday alerted officers that something might be wrong.
“All they could hear on there was somebody screaming,” said DMPD detective Nate Lien.
Officers responded to the home the 911 call was made from, which is standard when they receive a hang up, and said they found a woman who said her ex-boyfriend had shown up to the home.
“She believed he was high on drugs and acting crazy,” said Lien.
Since the man had left before officers arrived, they began to do a search of the area and found a vehicle that had its doors open and lights on. Police said it is believed that the man entered the vehicle, which did not belong to him, at some point. Their search eventually led officers to the area of the Mary Queen of Peace Church on W. Main Street.
“As Sergeant Jeff Slayback approached the church, he noticed an elderly male laying on the ground; another male screaming. The male fit the description of what the girlfriend had described.”
According to police, a local church pastor said that the suspect had punched him in the face after he walked outside.
“He heard a disturbance coming from outside the church. He was wondering kind of what’s going on outside. He had no idea what he was going to walk into,” said Lien. “When he came out, the individual was tearing banners and a wreath off the church and kind of causing chaos.”
“He approached him kind of like, ‘what are you doing,’ and ultimately that individual punched him in the face and got into an altercation with him,” Lien added.
According to Danville police, when officers arrived, within a minute of the altercation, the suspect became combative with them as well.
“As he [Sergeant Slayback] got out of his car, the male rushed his vehicle, pushed him back and nearly pinned him in between the door,” said Lien.
According to police, the suspect then pushed Slayback in the chest as he was trying to deploy his K9 partner from the back seat. The suspect also placed his hands under the K9’s collar, police said.
“It took three officers to take him into custody. While he was on the ground, he was grabbing ahold of the dog, trying to gouge at his eyes,” said Lien.
Police said K9 Jack appears to be okay and is being monitored. No officers suffered injuries during the encounter, which was caught on body-worn camera, and the victim attacked is also seeking medical treatment for his injuries sustained when he was punched in the face. The extent of those injuries are not clear at this time.
“This is a pastor that does a lot for our community and for something like that to happen to him, it’s really disappointing,” said Lien.
According to Danville police, medical staff with the Danville Fire Department were called to the scene to assess the suspect, who was transported to Hendricks Regional Health in police custody for evaluation.
He was taken into custody on eight charges, including battery on a police officer, resisting law enforcement, battery, public intoxication, criminal mischief, unauthorized entry of a motor vehicle, disorderly conduct, and battery on a law enforcement K9.
The man’s name has not been released because he remains in the hospital under police custody and has not formally been charged.
“When we have a violent individual like this acting erratic, running the streets, we’re going to do everything we can to locate him and make sure he’s taken into custody,” said Lien. “Again, it’s believed that illicit drugs are involved.”
Detective Lien said the incident serves as a reminder that no community is immune to incidents of any nature and he also credited the 911 caller for alerting them to the situation.
“Our thoughts go out to Father Mike and any victims that are involved in this. We take this stuff seriously, our guys respond, and we’re going to do everything we need to keep our community safe.”