Seymour man arrested after firing shots


A Seymour man was arrested Monday after firing a shotgun twice outside a home south of the city, police report.

Chad Erin Hatton, 51, faces a Level 4 felony charge of possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon along with a Level 5 felony charge of intimidation with a deadly weapon.

He also faces Level 6 felony charges of criminal recklessness and pointing a firearm and a Class A misdemeanor charge of battery.

According to a news release from Lt. Adam Nicholson with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, the incident that led to Hatton’s arrest started with a 911 call to dispatch at 10:14 a.m. Monday.

That call came from a woman in Vernon Township who said her son, identified as Hatton, was out of control and had fired a gun outside a home located in the 10000 block of East County Road 50S, Nicholson said.

The woman said Hatton had been arguing with her 79-year-old husband, who is Hatton’s stepfather, before firing off two shots from a 12-gauge shotgun, Nicholson said.

The stepfather was able to make it inside away from Hatton and told 911 he believed he was being shot at by him. During the 911 call, Hatton left the residence in a black 2000 Nissan Xterra, Nicholson said.

While Nicholson and Jackson County Officer Jesse Hutchinson were responding to the incident, Jackson-Jennings Community Corrections Officer J.D. Woods overheard radio traffic and saw a vehicle matching the description of the XTerra near County Road 50S and U.S. 31.

The vehicle eventually pulled into a private driveway near County Road 80N and U.S. 31. Officers arrived on the scene and were able to secure Hatton outside the vehicle.

They also found a .22-caliber Ruger rifle in the passenger seat of the vehicle, Nicholson said.

Nicholson and Hutchinson investigated the scene of the incident.

Hatton’s stepfather said the argument started over some tools, Nicholson said.

During the argument, police were told Hatton shoved his stepfather to the ground.

The stepfather said he drew a .25-caliber handgun out of fear that Hatton would kill him, Nicholson said. Hatton stepped away, and the stepfather left the garage but heard a shot at that time.

Nicholson said the investigation later found Hatton had fired a shot directly into a boat motor inside the garage.

The stepfather said he walked toward the house to get away from Hatton and tell his wife to call 911, which she did.

Hatton fired another shot outside the garage and told his stepfather to throw down his handgun, Nicholson said.

Believing Hatton had shot at him, the stepfather said he had no choice but to throw the handgun down, police said.

Hatton allegedly pointed the gun at his stepfather and told him he was going to kill him, police said. He picked up the .25-caliber handgun and threw it into a wooded area a few feet away.

During the investigation, a Jackson County judge granted a search warrant for a detached garage that Hatton lived in, a shed on the property and the vehicle he had been driving at the time of his arrest to locate the shotgun used.

The shotgun was not found at that time, police said.

Because there was suspicion Hatton had hidden the shotgun in the woods, Indiana Conservation officers Zach Walker and Jim Schreck provided K-9s that are trained to detect firearms. The dogs were able to locate the shotgun buried under leaves in the woods, Nicholson said.

They also found several buried shotgun casings, wadding from Hatton’s second shotgun shot and the stepfather’s .25-caliber handgun.

Hatton was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 12:04 p.m. Monday and is being held without bond pending his initial hearing in Jackson Circuit Court in Brownstown.

County Detective Mark Holt, county Officer Kevin Settle and troopers with the Indiana State Police assisted with the arrest and investigation.

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