Newton County Officials Have Busy Weekend

by: Scott McCaulley

Law Enforcement Officials in Newton County have a very busy weekend with several major incidents taking place.

Besides the death of a college student at Hawksbill Crag reported in a previous Hometown Daily News Dot Com story, Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler said in a release on the department’s Facebook Page that his department worked the following incidents:

-On Friday evening just after 8:30, deputies responded to a report of a disturbance with shots fired in Parthenon. The incident involving three people. One of those involved, 61-year-old Bevan Dean Dunlap, was arrested for Aggravated Assault and Commiting a Terroristic Act with more charges possible as the investigation continues.

Also Friday evening, a call from a music festival at Dogpatch indicated and intoxicated man was attempting to swim across the Lake and was calling for help. Harrison Fire and Rescue was dispatched as well as a Sheriff’s Deputy but by the time they arrived, the man was out of the water and did not need assistance.

-Saturday shortly after Noon, an incident happened near Western Grove where two early teenage girls were approached and eventually chased by a man in his late 20’s or early 30’s. The two girls eventually got away and contacted a family member who later contacted authorities. The person is described as a white male, slender and wearing a blue shirt with holes, jeans with holes and a ball cap with blonde, bushy hair.

-Also Saturday afternoon, Newton County Deputies assisted the Boone County Sheriff’s Department in executing a search warrant at a residence near the county line in which stolen items from both counties were discovered. A male was arrested wanted on a Newton County Warrant with the investigation continuing.

-An arrest was made on a Domestic Dispute in the Mount Judea area Saturday evening around 7:30. Officers eventually arrested 38-year-old Nathan Ricketts for 3rd Degree Assault on a Family or Household Member and was taken to the Newton County Jail.

The complete recap from Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler is below:

Newton County Sheriff Glenn Wheeler reported the weekend was busier than normal with several major incidents taking place. In addition to the more common patrol activities, calls for service and the medical and fire emergencies his office dispatched, Wheeler highlighted the more serious calls.

Around 8:38 P.M. Friday, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a disturbance in Parthenon in which guns were involved. While the caller was on the line with Dispatch, shots were fired and two people left the scene on a side by side UTV. The caller advised that at least one person had been shot.

After a long search for the people in the UTV, all parties were located. Two people had been injured, including a juvenile. Bevan Dean Dunlap, 61 of Parthenon was arrested for Aggravated Assault and Committing a Terroristic Act. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be pending for others involved.

While officers were on that call, they were told of an incident at the music festival at Dogpatch. An extremely intoxicated man had began swimming across the lake and was now yelling for help. A Deputy and Harrison Fire and Rescue was initially dispatched, but upon the Deputy’s arrival, he reported that the man was now out of the water and didn’t need medical attention or rescue.

At 9:33 A.M. on Saturday morning, Newton County 911 received a phone call of someone falling off Hawksbill Crag. Responders from several agencies, along with trained volunteers, responded. It was learned that Andrea Norton, 20 of Hot Springs, South Dakota was the victim. Norton did not survive the fall.

At 12:42 P.M. on Saturday, Dispatch received a call of a white male in his late twenties or early thirties, carrying a large stick, that had approached two early teen aged girls in Western Grove and stated “let’s play.” The girls told the man they did not want to play and began moving away from him. The man chased after the girls for approximately a half mile. During the chase, he reportedly grabbed one of the girls. The girl was able to hit the man and get away and contact a family member who came and got them. The man, described as slender and wearing a blue shirt with holes, jeans with holes and a ball cap with blonde, bushy hair fled on foot. Both girls described the male as looking like “a total meth head.” Several officers checked the area and spoke to neighbors but were unable to locate him. A message was sent to surrounding agencies to watch for the suspect and detain him for questioning if located.

During that investigation, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance at a residence in their county, near the Newton County line. Several items of stolen property had been located there, some of which had recently been stolen from Newton County. A Deputy assisted Boone County with securing the residence while Boone County obtained and executed a search warrant. A male was arrested on a Newton County warrant at the scene. Several items of stolen property were recovered and the investigation continues with more charges expected.

At approximately 7:26 P.M. a call was recieved of a domestic disturbance near Mount Judea. Officers responded and arrested Nathan Ricketts, 38, for 3rd Degree Assault on a Family or Household Member. He was transported to the Newton County Jail and his Probation Officer was notified.

Separate, more in depth, releases will be sent on the shooting, the attempted abduction and the fatal fall