LPD responds to hostage situation on 7th Avenue North

Friday, January 23, 2015

By Karen Hall


Just after 1 a.m. Saturday, Lewisburg police officers responded to a call from a home on 7th Av. North.

According to his report, Officer Wes Simmons was told by dispatch, "They had a hysterical caller on the phone saying a man inside the residence had a gun and was holding people hostage."

As Simmons and Officers Mike Davis and Clyde Ragsdale arrived at the house, they found people -- including the woman who called 911 -- on the street outside. The officers were trying calm people down and get them away from the front of the house when more people started coming out.

One woman pointed to a man on the porch and said, "That's him, that's him."

It was Ricky D. Boatner, 34, of Memphis, and Davis put him in handcuffs without difficulty. Boatner did not have a gun on him, but a woman who lives there said the gun was hidden somewhere inside.

Another voice in the crowd was heard to say the gun was in the trash can, so Cpl. Tracy Teal searched there and found a Rossi .38 special in the bottom of the can, under a bag of trash.

"The pistol was fully loaded with five rounds in the cylinder; four rounds were lead-nose rounds, and one was hollow-pointed," reported Simmons.

"Ricky was highly intoxicated and had slurring of speech ... (he) never made any statements about the situation to me," Simmons continued.

Teal took Boatner to jail, while Simmons, Davis and Ragsdale tried to find out what happened.

Not all the witnesses were willing to cooperate, Simmons wrote, but three did provide written statements.

All stated Boatner was drunk and angry. The woman who called 911 was able to sneak out the back door, she told Simmons, but the rest were held hostage as Boatner waved the gun around, saying, "None of y'all will make it out of here alive, and I be gone before they know I killed all of y'all."

A 17-year-old girl wrote, "He got drunk and mad and held us hostage."

Simmons had dispatch run a criminal history on Boatner, which confirmed he is a convicted felon, and one of his charges was attempted first-degree murder. Boatner's most recent sentence ended in 2012.

"I charged Ricky with a total of 13 charges and his bond was set at $165,000," Simmons concluded his report.

The charges include four counts each of aggravated assault, aggravated kidnapping, and reckless endangerment, and one count of unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.

The Jailtracker website gives Boatner's address as Fayetteville, while Simmons' report lists it as Memphis.