Man arrested after making threat at restaurant

Published 2:11 pm Sunday, December 10, 2017

Second man arrested on gun charge

A South Point man was jailed after making threats to shoot up a restaurant.

On Thursday around 3:50 p.m., 911 got a call from the South Point McDonald’s that a customer had reported he heard a male subject make a comment about shooting the place up.

While deputies were en route, the man in question left the property in older model Jeep Cherokee.

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The vehicle was stopped by the Ohio State Highway Patrol on U.S. 52 near the Charlie Creek intersection.

In the Jeep were four people, Zachary Dement, 21, South Point; Jonathan Ratcliff, 22, South Point, Brittany Ratcliff, 23, South Point and James C. Brown, 33, South Point.

While talking to the management of McDonald’s, deputies found out that Dement’s mother is an employee of the restaurant and he had called earlier demanding information. When he was told to stop calling, he told them he was coming to the restaurant. He was told not to and that he was not allowed in the restaurant because he constantly causes trouble.

Ignoring the advice, Dement went to the restaurant and began causing trouble and cursing at the employees. As he was leaving, a customer passing by dement heard him cursing and talking about “popping people.”

When officers searched the Jeep and found a loaded handgun. No one was seen in the restaurant with a gun and Dement told detectives that it belonged to the driver, Jonathan Ratcliff.

Dement was arrested for criminal trespassing and inducing a panic. He was taken to the Lawrence County Jail. This is his third arrest this year. On June 2, he was arrest for theft. On Nov. 26, he was arrested breaking and entering-trespass to commit felony and trafficking Schedule I, II less than bulk. Jonathan Ratcliff was arrested and jailed for the improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle.

“We at the sheriff’s office take these threats and situations very serious,” said Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless.

Agencies involved in this case included the sheriff’s office, the OSHP, Chesapeake Police, South Point Police and the Lawrence County Common Pleas Probation Department.