Fortville man facing numerous charges following attack on New Palestine man

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Dennis Randall Shaw

HANCOCK COUNTY — A Fortville man labeled as a “habitual offender” with a lengthy criminal history is facing felony burglary charges and more following an attack on another man in New Palestine in late August.

Dennis Randall Shaw, 36, 200 block of West Broadway Street, has been charged with a Level 2 felony count of burglary with a deadly weapon, a Level 5 felony count of battery by means of a deadly weapon, a Level 6 felony count of residential entry break and enter a dwelling and a Level 6 felony count of strangulation for crimes officials say happened on Aug. 28.

Shaw is being held in the Hancock County Jail pending an initial hearing Friday in Hancock County Superior Court 1 with a habitual offender enhancement charge against him. According to court records, Shaw has three other open criminal cases pending, including intimidation charges filed Aug. 23.

Officials from the Hancock County Prosecutor’s office have identified Shaw as a “habitual offender” after they noted he had accumulated three prior unrelated felony convictions. A look at Shaw’s records shows he has at least 10 other criminal cases against him that have been closed in addition to the four open cases pending.

As for the most recent incident, according to a probable cause affidavit, officials from the Sheriff’s Department were called to High Acres South Court, New Palestine around 4:30 p.m. Aug. 28 for a report of a disturbance. The caller stated his dad and stepdad fought and one of them needed medics.

An officer with the New Palestine Police Department arrived at the scene and informed dispatch brass knuckles were involved and that he was going to wait for other officers before he entered the house, the report stated. Once on scene, officials noted, a man standing outside with blood on his hands and forearms told officials a man later identified as Shaw, who was found unconscious, was in the back bedroom.

According to the affidavit, the man outside told officials Shaw had come over to his house a week prior and had threatened him and that there was a warrant out for Shaw’s arrest. The man went on to say he was in bed napping when he woke up to find Shaw on top of him with brass knuckles attempting to hit him. The man told officials he was able to fight Shaw off enough to get some good punches in so he could get away from Shaw.

The man noted he came home around noon, had a few drinks and went to bed and that the front door may have been unlocked due to kids getting home from school, the report stated.

According to the affidavit, Shaw, who officials noted had severe facial injuries, was given immediate medical care but remained unconscious while being transported to IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. A deputy later went to IU Methodist to take pictures of Shaw’s injuries, which included a swollen left eye and side of his face, the report noted.

Officials said they later found a black set of brass knuckles on the TV stand in the bedroom. Officials noted in the report the man standing outside was awoken by Shaw placing his left hand around his neck, restricting his breathing and attempting to hit him with the brass knuckles recovered from the scene.

The report also stated that one of three children at the scene told officials she heard Shaw enter the residence through the open garage door and go to the man’s bedroom and then heard yelling. Another child there stated he heard Shaw’s truck pull into the drive causing the child to exit the house to call 911 because he knew something bad was going to happen.

One of the children also stated in the report that Shaw had called him shortly before the incident and said he had a warrant out for his arrest. Shaw then told the child he was going to jail and then said something to the effect of “I’m going to give them a reason to take me to jail,” the report said.

When Shaw was able to speak, the affidavit noted, he told officials he went to the house to speak about some issues and didn’t really remember anything else. He did, however, tell officials in the report he did own a pair of brass knuckles. Shaw told officials, according to the report, that he went to the house because he has children with the woman who lives there, but that he never enters without knocking.

Shaw also told officials, the report states, that he was drinking heavily the day of the incident and, coupled with the injury, his memory is “very foggy of the events.”