Man Who Called-In False Report On John Crawford Might Be Charged

john-henry-crawford-memoriam-300x200Fairborn Municipal Court Judge Beth Root has ruled that there is probable cause to charge Ronald T. Ritchie with making false alarms.  Judge Root ruled that there was not probable cause to issue a criminal complaint against Ritchie for inciting to violence, inducing panic, involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide.  She has referred the case for making false alarms to a prosecutor.

On August 5, 2014, Ronald T. Ritchie called 911 reporting that a Black man was in the Beavercreek, Ohio’s Walmart pointing a gun at shoppers and children.  Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams arrived and shot John twice, killing him.  John had picked up an air rifle from the shelf in the store.  The store’s surveillance video shows that John was not behaving as Ritchie reported.

John Crawford III was 22-years old.  At the time he was killed by Officer Williams, a shopper, 37-year old Angela Williams, had a heart attack while rushing out of the store.  She died.

The Dayton Daily News reports that 10 private citizens filed affidavits in Fairborn Municipal Court and turned in Walmart surveillance video synchronized to the 911 call by the FBI on March 25.  Judge Root watched the synchronized video and ruled that at the time that Ritchie told 911 that John was pointing a gun at two children, that the video does not depict that event.

Ronald-Ritchie

Ronald Ritchie

Officer Williams was cleared by a Greene County special grand jury, which declined to indict him. Williams remains on administrative duty pending a U.S. Dept. of Justice civil rights investigation.

Some sources, in reporting Judge Root’s decision, are incorrectly saying that Ritchie was indicted. The affidavits that Judge Root considered were filed under Ohio Revised Code 2935.09, which is the same law that citizens used and was granted probable cause findings in the killing of Tamir Rice.   However, although Cleveland Municipal Judge Ronald B. Adrine found probable cause to charge Timothy Loehman with murder and other counts, Cuyahoga Prosecutor Timothy McGinty went before a grand jury and did not obtain an indictment against Loehman.

Justice for Tamir and JohnThe charge of making a false alarm is a first-degree misdemeanor offense, punishable by a maximum of 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. At this time, I do not personally know if Ohio law requires that misdemeanor charges go before a grand jury to indict.   If not, then the prosecutor can order Ritchie’s arrest.

John Crawford III’s family has filed a lawsuit against Officer Sean Williams who killed John, and Sgt David Darkow who was standing nearby.  The suit is filed in the U.S. District Court in Dayton, and contains 17 counts ranging from assault and battery, to negligent training and supervision against Beavercreek Police Chief Dennis Evers and the City of Beavercreek.  It also alleges negligence against WalMart.  John’s family has asked for compensatory damages in excess of $75,000.

Currently in the civil case, The Xenia Gazette reports that lawyers for Darkow and Williams have requested that a stay of discovery that expired March 30, 2015, be extended.   Their reason is because of the federal investigation.  In another civil case involving the suspicious death of Kendrick Johnson, the Department of Justice requested a state court in Georgia to stay the case for 180 days pending federal investigation, and the judge denied the DOJ’s request.  The plaintiffs in that civil case, Kendrick’s parents, have voluntarily dismissed the case without prejudice.  Strategically, it was the only alternative to allow the DOJ to continue and complete their investigation since some of the witnesses are involved in both the civil case and criminal investigation.  Kendrick’s parents can refile the case in 6 months.

By comparison, in the civil case filed with the federal court in Ohio, Darkow and Williams believe that continuing discovery in the civil case might conflict with their rights related to the ongoing federal investigation into the incident.  On the other hand, the defendants in the civil case alleging the wrongful death of Kendrick Johnson did not want the court to stay the case for 180 days until the DOJ completes its investigation.

The below is the synchronized video with 911 call.

 

Beavercreek Police have a Youtube channel in case you’re interested in watching more videos involving this case, including Ritchie’s interview with police officers, and the interview with John’s girlfriend, who in January 2015, died in a car accident.

 

Posted on 04/07/2016, in Cases, John Crawford III and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 29 Comments.

  1. Justice seems to be crawling for the family of John Crawford. Come on Loretta Lynch, I know you have a LOT on your plate but this is long overdue!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Such a shame…………….. What a BLATANT LIAR!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. yahtzeebutterfly

    Xena, thanks for your comprehensive article on this case. I do believe that Richie should be charged for making that false call.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I always felt they could/should have charged Ritchie for his lies to 911. If not for his lies, 2 people might still be alive today and I’m disappointed that involuntary manslaughter wasn’t supported. I don’t understand that one because it was his lies that put the police into the mindeset that they were going to encounter a possible mass shooting.

    I understand the mindset, especially with all the mass shootings we read about today. The cops believed that 911 call as they rightfully should have. But there should be stiffer consequences for those who make outright false reports especially when someone dies as a result of it.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hey towerflower!

      “I understand the mindset, especially with all the mass shootings we read about today.”

      You bring up an excellent point. When is it right for citizens to call-in suspicious activity? How does a 911 dispatcher call-in what is reported without adding assumptions?

      Racer and Mothman have brought out excellent points as well. If a person is in a public place with a weapon, and there are people around and are not being attacked nor shot, is it right to call 911 with a report? Why would law enforcement give 100 percent credibility to a shopper when Wal-Mart employees had not called in?

      Liked by 1 person

      • When one open carries, as in Ohio, you can have a firearm strapped to your side of in the case of a rifle, slung over a shoulder. What it does not permit is to carry it in a “threatening” manner…ie….pointing it at people, handling it, loading ammo, etc.

        I do feel people should call in suspicious activity, sometimes it might just be a good assumption and other times it might be a bad assumption. BUT, in this case, you had a caller who said he was doing very specific things. Pointing it at people and children, and THREE TIMES he told the dispatcher he was loading ammunition into the rifle….something that is impossible to do with an air rifle. This is entirely different then seeing someone you might find suspicious.

        There was no “I think he is acting suspicious”, “up to no good”,etc, comments that may be left up to an interpretation by a dispatcher. He was very specific in his descriptions and actions, all of which were proven to be lies. These specific descriptions were relayed and I can see the cops thinking they were about to encounter a mass shooter. Based on the lies of Ritchie, Crawford didn’t stand a chance, especially with him still holding the look a like bushmaster. So in this case it’s not like Tamir Rice in which the dispatcher left out critical information that might have led to a different outcome.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Towerflower,
          I don’t know how Ritchie sleeps.

          Like

        • roderick2012

          TF: So in this case it’s not like Tamir Rice in which the dispatcher left out critical information that might have led to a different outcome.

          Except that the caller in the 911 case thought that Tamir was a child, but instead of asking or at least getting a closer look he decided to call 911 which makes him much, much worse.

          Like

  5. I love when he says he’s loading it right now.

    “What’s he doing now”

    “He looks like he’s just trying to load it” He says sounding just like Fogen.

    “What’s he loading it with”

    “I don’t know, I’m not getting that close to him” was the response BUT should be ………

    “I don’t know……I’m just making this shit up as I go along”

    8:25:40 The mom and 2 kids walk through the pet area door and nobody gets a gun pointed at them and he says “He just pointed it at like two children”

    8:26:35 he says a kid is like an aisle length away……BS, there is nobody else even in pets at the time.

    Ritchie actually thinks he’s some sort of crime fighting hero…..Hmmmmmm ??

    Liked by 4 people

  6. I forgot about this. The police YouTube page also has “The second Walmart shooting victim of Ronald Ritchie’s bogus 911 call” tragic. My mom also has a heart condition that would not allow her to run out of a store. My mom gets winded very easy, just by walking. She has had a heart valve replace and she still has trouble.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Two sides to a story

    Definitely people need to be discouraged from making false reports or exaggerating – but then, sometimes things look or sound suspicioius to people and a situation can be entirely different from what they think it is. Hard call. Often karma takes care of stuff that the justice system doesn’t.

    If you recall our local Kelly Thomas case in Orange County cali- that case began by a phone call from a local restaurant manager that Kelly was walking around the transit center parking lot near the restaurant, which was true. The manager also said he was trying to breakinto cars and she knew it wasn’t true – it was just that she didn’t like Kelly and didn’t want him near the restaurant. She was never charged and probably should have been. She was fired from her job, however. Must be rough to have that on her conscience for the rest of her life – and probably in some cases just as good as jail, if not better, actually.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Two Sides!
      Karma. Seems to me that lately that karma has taken a role of using innocent people to bring to light what evil people do. False reports and/or exaggerating seems to be learned behavior. In other words, there were probably victims on a smaller scale before we read the news about victims who lose their life.

      The manager who called in a false report about Kelly Thomas has probably lied about people resulting in them losing their job, so karma balanced the scale by doing the same to her.

      Like

  8. I think Ritchie called it in just to start trouble. He’s lying through the entire call. This should be more than a minor offense. 2 people are dead because he’s a blatant liar.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Racer!
      Ritchie sounds like someone who wants to be important; who needs to be validated. In his interview with detectives after the shooting, he stated that John pointed the rifle at the cop and deserved to be shot. He also told detectives that he called 911 because he didn’t know what John had planned — maybe it was to rob the store. The detective used Ritchie’s assumptions to drill John’s girlfriend, even to trying to get her to say that John left the house that morning with a plan to rob the store. That detective had to ignore the evidence that John picked up the air rifle in the store. He did not leave his house with any weapon.

      In other words, the detectives worked hard to give Ritchie’s assumptions some credibility. Thank God for surveillance videos.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amen !! The video does not lie. Of course many try to alter the facts despite video, but the real world sees what really happens.

        It sickens me the way the cops walked around after John was shot as if they shot an armed kidnapper who just robbed a bank, stole 79 cars, did 9 driveby shootings, 16 assaults (all on cops or kids) and was the prime suspect in the Holocaust…..

        I didn’t see any aid being given and that tells me a lot.

        Liked by 3 people

        • Racer,

          “I didn’t see any aid being given and that tells me a lot.”

          That’s the general pattern now. I think it might come from conditioning to not care for human life while doing your job, because respect for human life might prevent them from doing their job. It’s a “them vs. us” mentality where the enemy cannot be respected and if by chance the person was not an enemy, they were still doing their job.

          That might work well for military personnel to help avoid PTSD, but not for law enforcement that works with civilians. There needs to be a change of attitude.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. crustyolemothman

    I admit that I have not followed this case as much as many of you have, so bear with me as I ask a few questions. What do we really know about Ritchie, does he have a history of causing problems with or for black people? Does he have any racist history, or ties to groups that do? It would seem that if he did this for kicks and grins he must have done something similar in the past. Has anyone actually done any digging into his history?

    The next thing that I find troubling is that at the very beginning of this video Mr. Crawford already has the (non) gun in his possession, where did he first gain possession of the (non) gun? These types of guns are normally kept in the sporting goods section of the store, did Mr. Crawford walk around the store with it prior to the call to 911? It would seem that if he was wandering around the store with the gun, some one else would have noticed and alerted either the store mgmt. or called 911, but I have yet to hear that anyone else even paid any attention or at least I have not heard that anyone did. One thing that I noticed in the recording is that Ritchie told the dispatcher that it looked like he was loading the gun, and when she questioned him he said he was not sure, however when she talked to the officers on the way to the scene she stated that he had loaded bullets. I only mention this because I sometimes think that the way the officers receive their information causes the incident to play out in a way that could have been avoided with correct wording.

    Thanks for bearing with me as I ramble on in a manner that might not be as clear as I would like. Feel free to give me the information that you think would allow me to better understand these few small points.

    Liked by 2 people

    • As I recall, he picked the gun up in the toy section and was going to purchase it. It was a plastic toy and not a BB or pellet gun. He walked with it through several sections of the store and finally to the pet section. As I recall when this first happened, he encountered quite a few shoppers and none of them thought anything of it……being a toy gun and all.

      On top of that, there is video of John in the other parts of the store and the encounters with shoppers.

      If you watched the 911 call synced to the video, Ritchie is nothing by a liar and in my opinion, was looking to start trouble. Hell…….he even sounds like Fogen.

      Liked by 3 people

      • crustyolemothman

        Thank you for your answers, that tells that no one else felt that Mr. Crawford was a threat. If you recall as we looked into Fogen’s history we saw a pattern of racial discord and disrespect for toward other people, yet I have not seen any indication of this with Ritchie, unless that is another of the things that I have missed.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Looking at the video you can see a mom and 2 kids at the end of the aisle where John is in the pet section and they don’t aren’t even fazed by his presence. When they are there Ritchie says now he’s pointing the gun at 2 kids, which is a blatant lie.

          This 60 year old white guys says Ritchie is a race baiting hate monger. Just my opinion. It’s like…….I can hear Fogen in his voice.

          Liked by 2 people

      • Actually he picked it up in the sporting goods area, not the toy section, you can tell by the video. I also wonder what Wal-Mart’s responsibility in this for not checking their aisles. These “toys” are sold in the sporting goods area and are boxed up with many twist ties/zip ties attached to them. They are not easily removed and we know Crawford did not remove it from the packaging, someone else removed it and it was never taken away from the display areas by employees.

        Like Xena says, Ritchie was kicked out of the Marines. First Marines do not say you are an ex-Marine, once a Marine, always a Marine. He never made it. You can be removed for lying on paperwork when you join, health, or mental issues. I’m leaning to mental issues and having a Fogen complex….needing to be a hero.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Mothman,
      Thanks for the questions. I’ll do my best to address them in part, starting with Ritchie’s background. The Guardian reported in a Sept. 2014 article that Ritchie told several reporters that he was an “ex-marine”. That raised a flag with me. My son has shared that using the term “ex-marine” is how people in other branches of the military tease Marines, who after their service, refer to themselves as “former Marines.”

      The Guardian went on to say that Ritchie was thrown out of the Marine Corp after seven weeks in 2008. He was declared a “fraudulent enlistment”.

      Also from the Guardian;

      “In January 2012, Ritchie pleaded guilty in the Montgomery County municipal court to theft. All records of the incident have been expunged by the court and the Huber Heights police department. In 2010 he was fined $250 and given a year’s probation after being convicted by Miamisburg municipal court of possession of drug paraphernalia.”

      Does Ritchie have racial animus? The Guardian reports that he does, based on his and his wife’s social media posting which includes referring to President Obama as a race hoaxer.

      Like

      • crustyolemothman

        Xena, Thank you for the information, I guess that gives a pretty good indication of the true character of Ritchie, and it is not pretty, and goes a long way towards explaining his motives in making the call to 911. Your patience with me in this is appreciated, I have been pretty busy dealing with a problem that you are familiar with and the outcome is at this time undecided… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Mothman,
          I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been busy dealing with a problem that, IMHO, should have never been a problem. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you think I can be a help.

          I’m interested in Ritchie’s future. Since it was his false report that resulted in the death of two individuals, I would like to see if the DOJ finds that he deliberately intended to violate John’s civil rights.

          Like

  10. Beavercreek Police Officer Sean Williams is now employed with the Greene County Family Visitation Center.

    Like

    • Hi Amanda and thanks for your comment. Would you happen to have a link to where this information can be verified?

      Like

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