Madison Cottages Rensselaer Hostage taker John Griffith sentenced to 27 years – on Jun. 6

In A plea agreement that dismissed 7 felonies and a misdemeanor John Griffith still faced 2 felonies that got him sentenced to 27 years in the Indiana Department of Correction on June 6. 2018. Our original story below tells of how on Aug. 3, 2017 Griffith broke into his
ex-fiance’s home and took her mother hostage, while the ex-fiance hide in the garage and than ran to call the police. Griffith used the ex-fiance’s mother as a human shield against the police and dragged her around for several hours at knife point, until police were able to subdue Griffith with a bean bag round shot from a gun. All of this happened last August at Madison Cottages on Rensselaer’s far north side off Wood Road.

The list of felonies that Griffith was able to plea away are as follows:
01. 35-42-3-3(a)/F2:Criminal Confinement Criminal Confinement where victim is used as a shield or hostag
• Dismissed
02. 35-43-2-1/F3:Burglary Burglary resulting in bodily injury.
• Plea by Agreement
03. 35-42-2-9(c)/F6: Strangulation
• Dismissed
04. 35-42-2-9(c)/F6: Strangulation
• Dismissed
05. 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/F6: Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
• Dismissed
06. 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/F6: Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
• Dismissed
07. 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/F6: Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
• Dismissed
08. 35-46-1-15.1(5)/MA: Invasion of Privacy – Viol NCO In Pretrial Release/Pretrial Diversion
• Dismissed

But the remaining charges of Burglary, Burglary resulting in bodily injury were still enough to get  Griffith  sentenced to 27 years in prison.

Original Story

We have included Our recorded Police Scanner audio on the below player, of the hostage situation, we have cut out all of the “dead air” time from the audio track.

Rensselaer – About 11:30 pm on Thur. Aug. 3 the Jasper County News Live police Scanner started reporting  of a domestic situation at Madison Cottages of Rensselaer (Madison Cottages is located Northwest of the new grade school, off Wood road on the north side of Rensselaer). The Rensselaer PD got there first and then the Jasper County Sheriff’s Dept. was called for backup as the situation escalated into a hostage taking of the suspect’s estranged partner’s mother, who was reported to be 65 yrs. old, but was unnamed in the report.

The hostage taking suspect is reported as John Griffith, 30 yrs. Old. Rensselaer police Chief Jeff Phillips stated that his arrival on scene coincided with the hostage coming out of the apartment, but Griffith continued to hold-up inside. Once outside the freed hostage was checked by paramedics and they found no serious injuries.

At this time Our Police Scanner began radio traffic of the police talking of shutting off gas service to the apartment because Griffith shouted threats of “blowing up the building” and Rensselaer City Utilities were called to do this. Our Police Scanner also said at this time, that Griffith shouted that he wanted “Suicide by Cop” while he exited the apartment brandishing a knife. Our Police Scanner then said that police were going to use “less [than] lethal [force]” due to there no longer being a hostage. So at this time a bean bag gun was fired at Griffith subduing him enough to be taken into custody. Then Our Police Scanner said that the bean bag round hit Griffith in the chest and he was then taken to Franciscan Hospital Rensselaer for evaluation. Griffith was later transported to the Jasper County Detention Center and charged with kidnapping, criminal confinement, battery, strangulation, invasion of privacy and violating a protective order.

Jasper County News has learned that Griffith came to the Madison Cottages location because it was the home of his recently estranged partner’s mother and that the estranged partner recently started staying there. We were also told that the estranged partner had recently filed domestic battery charges on Griffith. The estranged partner was not at the residence when Griffith got there and consequently the estranged partner’s mother was taken hostage. . The estranged partner stated that Griffith came to the Madison Cottages location to kill her and to die by suicide by cop.

Story by Jasper County News with press release information from Rensselaer Police Dept. (RPD) and an account by the estranged partner.

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