SYRACUSE — A man was recently arrested on several criminal charges after an officer-involved shooting in 2019.
Dale Ray Harner, 30, of Syracuse, who also has an address in Fort Wayne, is charged with attempted arson, a level 4 felony; intimidation with a deadly weapon, a level 5 felony; and criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon, intimidation and possession of methamphetamine, all level 6 felonies.
The confrontation between he and police came after Harner poured gasoline in a home in anticipation of setting it on fire, according to court paperwork.
On Jan. 31, 2019, the Syracuse Police Department received a call from a woman about Harner allegedly using methamphetamine and barricading a residence’s doors so people couldn’t enter and exit.
According to court documents, the woman said Harner kept her in the residence and would not let her leave until Jan. 31, 2019, when she escaped.
That same day, Harner sent a message to the woman and her aunt that contained a picture of a gas can, handgun, knife and drug paraphernalia. In the message, Harner said when the woman came home he was going to kill her and then kill himself. Officers were also aware that Harner had a warrant out of Wabash County for his arrest.
On Feb. 1, 2019, officers went to a Syracuse residence to serve Harner’s arrest warrant and also investigate the intimidation complaint.
Officers approached the residence and broke through a barricaded door to find Harner with a handgun, as well as gasoline poured inside the home. Harner was also holding a cigarette but it was unknown if it was lit.
During the entry, Harner raised his hand holding the handgun and pointed it at officers. A Kosciusko County Sheriff’s officer fired two shots at Harner. Both shots missed Harner, who dropped his firearm but did not follow officers’ commands.
A K9 unit was used to apprehend Harner, who was bitten by the K9. Harner was then taken to an area hospital for treatment.
Officers ventilated the home to rid it of gas fumes and found a gas stove burner was lit in the kitchen. In the area where officers arrested Harner, they found a plastic bag containing methamphetamine. Officers also found a BB handgun that appeared to be a real handgun and drug paraphernalia.
Indiana State Police detectives spoke with Harner, who said when he saw police outside his residence he said, “I’ve got a gun, I’ve got a gun.” He also admitted to using methamphetamine earlier in the day and that the handgun was a BB gun. Harner said he had the BB gun in his hand when officers shot at him and knew there was an active warrant for his arrest.
A warrant was issued for Harner’s arrest on Aug. 1, 2019, after failing to appear for his initial hearing. He is in the Kosciusko County Jail as of May 12 with no bond.