Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Records: man charged with murdering Cleveland officer had criminal history, mental health concerns

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) – Records show the man charged with fatally shooting Cleveland police officer Jamieson Ritter on July 4, had a criminal record and was once ordered by a judge to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

A Cleveland police report indicates that on December 4, 2023, Delawnte Hardy, 24, was arrested for breaking into a house at 3705 Central Avenue on the city’s east side. According to the report, it began when officers responded to a call regarding suspicious activity after Hardy was seen climbing through a window of the home. When police arrived, they told Hardy to exit the house. When he refused, officers reportedly entered through a broken window and tried to handcuff him.

Officers say Hardy then resisted arrest and ran upstairs. According to the report, it took four officers to eventually restrain him. In one of the upstairs’ bedrooms, officers say they found Hardy’s Nike gym bag, which contained two knives, two swords, his Ohio ID, $147.00 in cash, multiple credit and debit cards and a hockey mask. Hardy was then charged with breaking and entering and resisting arrest, both misdemeanors.

A week later, court records show he was released on bond. However, a judge ordered Hardy to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Then, this past April, the case was dismissed. Court records indicate Hardy was deemed incompetent― and his competency could not be restored in time to take his case to trial.

Then, in the early hours of June 29, Garfield Heights police were called to the home of Hardy’s grandmother, Beatrice Porter, on Reindeer Avenue. She was found by her husband lying in a pool of blood, barely alive. Records show she had been shot in the head ― and Hardy was seen at her home earlier that day, leaving on a bicycle.

Later that day, Garfield Heights police issued a felonious assault warrant for Hardy’s arrest. Porter died at a hospital days later.

Then on July 4, a man claiming to be Hardy’s uncle called Cleveland police to report his nephew was seen at a house in the 1500 block of East 80th street in Cleveland. He warned officers that Hardy was armed with a gun and was wanted for his grandmother’s shooting.

Reports indicate dispatchers confirmed Hardy was considered “armed and dangerous” with “violent tendencies” and was also “known to be schizophrenic”.

However, no one could have predicted what was about to happen when Officer Ritter responded to that call.

As a result of Ritter’s fatal shooting, Hardy was charged with aggravated murder. His preliminary hearing is set for July 17 in Cleveland Municipal Court.

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