Battery investigation

Goshen police investigate a battery Monday on South Main Street.

GOSHEN — A Goshen man is in custody, accused by Goshen police of using a baseball bat to strike a blow to the head of a man he was staying with over a $500 loan.

Because of the trauma to his head, David Ratcliff Jr. was taken to Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital where doctors removed part of his skull to repair the bleeding inside his brain.

The suspect, Princeton O. Holiday, 34, was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery.

In a probable cause affidavit, Goshen police laid out the events leading to the battery and arrest.

At 10:57 a.m. Monday, Goshen officers were called to the 1000 block of South Seventh Street to check on a man who was injured, bleeding and walking around.

Officers found the injured man, later identified as Ratcliff, in the east-west alley in the 1000 block of South Main Street. Ratcliff was bleeding from the head and his left ear appeared to have been partially torn and was dangling, the affidavit reads.

Ratcliff was somewhat confused, police said, giving officers a different last name and told them he had injured himself from falling.

Ratcliff was taken to Goshen Hospital.

Officers, in the meantime, followed a blood trail from the alley to 1014 S. Main St. No one was found inside the home, but they found blood and evidence of a fight, according to the affidavit.

Ratcliff’s family was located and his parents said their son stays in their home off and on, and for the past few days, Holiday had also been staying there as well, the affidavit reads. When the couple left for work Monday, Ratcliff and Holiday were still at the house.

At the hospital, doctors, police noted in the affidavit, determined Ratcliff needed to be immediately transferred to Fort Wayne Lutheran because of his head injuries. Ratcliff was taken into surgery to stop the bleeding.

On Tuesday, Holiday was located by police in the area of 1014 S. Main St. after receiving a report of a “black male looking in the bushes and under a van,” the affidavit reads.

Holiday voluntarily walked to the police department for questioning, officers reported.

Holiday, according to the affidavit, confirmed he had been staying at the Ratcliffs, paying them $500 in rent. According to police, Holiday said he had also loaned Ratcliff Jr. $500, but on Monday morning Ratcliff appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine. When he realized the loan likely went toward drugs and he would not be repaid, Holiday reportedly told police he became angry, grabbed a baseball bat and struck Ratcliff once on the back and once on the head, the affidavit reads.

When it looked like Ratcliff was knocked out, Holiday left the home, went to Goshen Public Library, walked around during the night before returning to the area at 4 a.m. Tuesday to retrieve the baseball bat, according to the affidavit. He then reportedly left the bat in the 200 block of East Washington Street, where police later found and recovered it.

Holiday is being held at the Elkhart County Jail. Bond was set at $75,000.

He is expected to appear in Elkhart Superior Court 1 Sept. 20 at 1:30 p.m.

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