Brown faces additional charges after standoff in Fort Ritner

FORT RITNER – Casey Brown faces additional charges of resisting arrest and criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon after a standoff with Indiana State Police troopers. 

On Thursday, May 20, two Indiana State troopers conducted warrant services in Lawrence County. 

Casey Brown

A trooper arrived at a home in Fort Ritner to arrest Casey Brown, 35, on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear for felony charges of criminal confinement while armed with a deadly weapon, domestic battery in the presence of a minor, intimidation, and criminal recklessness.

The troopers approached an old, grey farmhouse that sits on the corner of Ft. Ritner Road and Nancy Street and knocked on the door. Troopers said lights were off in the home and a note taped on the door warning potential thieves against breaking into the residence was signed ‘Casey.’

The troopers notified dispatch the home appeared to be vacant and were walking west from the home when they noticed an adjacent home, west of the vacant home. 

The troopers decided to knock on the door of that home to determine if Brown might be inside. 

As the troopers approached the house, they noticed people inside including Brown. He was in the living room watching television. One of the troopers announced he was there to arrest Brown on an outstanding warrant. Simultaneously, Brown slid his hand into the unbuttoned front of his shirt where he had a pistol.  The trooper ordered Brown to take his hand out of his shirt, away from the gun. Brown then stood and began to withdraw with the pistol partially pulled from his shirt. 

The trooper continued to tell Brown to drop the weapon and exit the house.

After hesitating for five to ten seconds with his hand remaining halfway inside his shirt front, Brown,clutching what appeared to be a pistol grip, retreated across the living room and fled into a bathroom.

The trooper immediately entered the home as the others in the home exited.

The trooper continued to shout commands for Brown to surrender himself and his weapon. 

Brown then began talking loudly and hysterically to his estranged wife on the phone. He told her he was going to ‘end it’ and ‘do something stupid’ because he was not going back to jail. He told her he would die in prison. His phone then went dead.

Troopers were concerned Brown would end his life. 

Troopers then contacted Brown’s brother who retrieved a phone, charger, and a can of soda which were slid under the door for Brown to retrieve.

The Trooper continued to speak to Brown to convince him to surrender. 

At approximately 10:50 p.m., several other troopers arrived on the scene including a hostage negotiator. 

Negotiations were unsuccessful and Brown began to become more agitated. He threatened to kill himself and warned troopers to “ not get behind the wall down in the hallway, as it was only drywall and studs, and the bullet would definitely pass through it and might hit them”

At 11:30 p.m. troopers came out of the home but continued to cover the residence. 

Several ISP SWAT personnel arrived on the scene.

After a very short time, Brown appeared, standing in the window, with the 1911 .45 ACP pistol held to his temple. He opened the window and began talking to the troopers. 

Brown repeatedly requested to have “‘two beers and my brother” and he would surrender the weapon and come out of the residence.

His brother was at the scene and attempted to speak to Brown for approximately another three hours and was unsuccessful in getting Brown to surrender. 

After several hours, the negotiations were being seriously impeded by Brown’s ongoing Facetime conversation with his estranged wife.  Police then disconnected the phone line connections disabling the Wifi internet connection and ending the phone call. This agitated Brown but allowed negotiators to resume communications with Brown without interference.  

At approximately 5:10 a.m. on Friday, troopers requested a search warrant for Brown’s home. 

The warrant was requested because the last time Brown was arrested on a warrant involving domestic violence and weapons police seized approximately 50 weapons from the home.  

Brown rigged a weapon to his head using a 500 parachute cord to create a loop around his forehead, his neck, two connecting strings between the two loops, and a cord tying that head harness to the gun. He had also padded the muzzle of the weapon with a trash bag and tape where it was pressed against his right temple. He then connected loops of 550 cord around his right wrist to the trigger of the weapon in such a way that the grip safety was potentially disengaged, and the weapon would fire if his arm dropped, without pulling the trigger.

Brown then told troopers numerous times that if they tried anything the gun would go off. 

Throughout the day, various negotiators and commanders continued to issue him orders  to surrender. When they were unsuccessful, on-scene commanders and the SWAT team deployed tear gas canisters into the home. 

Brown climbed through the small bathroom window and fell into the grass. He then continued to sit in the backyard for a period of time, arguing loudly and refused to surrender. 

More tear gas canisters were deployed near him, in an attempt to persuade him to surrender, and to disable his ability to target anyone. The wind shifted  several times, rendering the tear gas mostly ineffective and blowing it back towards the perimeter of troopers. 

The on-scene commander then gave the order to deploy less-lethal pepper ball launchers, to attempt to persuade him to follow commands. 

Eventually, after several iterations of pepper ball application, Brown dropped the magazine from the weapon. He then began struggling to untie the 550 cord and electrical tape rigged to his hand, head, and weapon. This continued for almost an hour before he eventually released the weapon. He then began working to release the knots on the head harness. Once this was undone, he was thrown a pair of scissors by SWAT team members, to cut the weapon loose from his wrist. 

He was then ordered to roll away from the weapon, at which point SWAT members took him into custody and handcuffed him.

Brown was taken into custody at approximately 4:58 p.m. on Friday, May 21 after approximately 19 hours and 10 minutes from first making contact with police. 

Brown was f hosed down by firefighters on scene to decontaminate his body from the pepper ball powder and other non-lethal residuals, which were coating his body. 

He was then examined by EMT personnel. Once cleared, Brown continued to argue and complain. He was placed in the back of a Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department vehicle and transported to IU Health Hospital for a medical evaluation. 

He told the deputy the only reason he didn’t end his life was because of his son and that the bullet might pass through him and kill someone who was innocent.

Brown did suffer superficial injuries, welts, and abrasions and complained of ankle pain caused by the pepper balls and from crawling out the window. He was able to stand and walk, as he entered and departed the hospital under his own power.

Brown was then transported to jail. Police say Brown was loud and talkative and argumentative at times while being transported to jail but he did not resist or create a disturbance once at the jail.

The search warrant was granted at around 1:39 p.m. on Friday, May 21 and officers searched the home and found various  items, including weapon holsters, 1911 .45 ACP magazines, .45 ACP ammunition, and other items were found and seized. A small amount of what appears to be THC wax, and devices for smoking, were also found.