Spencer Co. Charged with Intimidating with Molotov Cocktail

A lengthy investigation by Indiana State Police leads to the arrest of a Santa Claus man accused of trying to intimidate with a Molotov cocktail.

ISP says a woman left her home in the 300 block of S. Melchoir Dr. in Santa Claus around 5:30 a.m. She then returned to find a bottle in her front yard with a burning wick extending from the opening.

Troopers and members of the ISP Emergency Ordinance Disposal Unit responded to the house to find the bottle was Kahlua alcoholic beverage bottle containing gasoline and a T-shirt that was lit afire, assembled as a Molotov cocktail. However, the Molotov cocktail was not properly deployed and only caused burn damage to the lawn.

ISP says it learned the Spencer County Sheriff's Department had been at the house around 1 a.m. on Friday. Deputies had responded for a complaint of an arrow being fired through a bedroom window. Investigators followed up on the early morning complaint, learning the man living at the house as well as his girlfriend had received threatenting text messages dating back to September 4.

Investigators discovered the text messages had been sent by 21-year-old Eric Braun of Santa Claus. ISP also learned the vehicle Braun was known to drive matched the description of a vehicle that the homeowner had been driving away from her neighborhood prior to arriving home to find the Molotove cocktail.

Investigators arrived at Braun's home just after noon and received permission to search the property. Troopers found an empty bottle of Crabbie's ginger beer on the ground with burnt residue on the bottle with a T-shirt lying next to it as a wick. Investigators also executed a search warrant on Braun's car and found marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Troopers say they also found arrows that matched the exact type fired through the bedroom window early Friday morning.

Braun was arrested and taken to Spencer County Jail. He faces the following list of charges:

  • Possession, Transporting, Placing a Destructive Device to Kill, Injure, or Intimidate, Level 2 Felony
  • Possession, Transporting, Placing a Destructive Device, Level 5 Felony
  • Intimidation with a Deadly Weapon, Level 5 Felony
  • Criminal Recklessness, Level 6 Felony
  • Maintaining a Common Nuisance, Level 6 Felony
  • Possession of Marijuan, Class B Misdemeanor

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