Man with local ties wanted for attempted murder

UPDATE 5:47 p.m.

Michael B. Swafford, wanted in connection with the attempted murder of an Indianapolis police officer, has had several run-ins with the law.

“We’ve caught him before, and we’ll get him again,” IMPD Lt. Mark McCardia said from Spearsville this afternoon.

In 2007, Greenwood police shot him with a Taser after he drove off U.S. 31, through a car dealership and a bowling center into a ditch, then swam across a retention pond to a housing complex.

The chase began after a Greenwood officer tried to pull him over for speeding. Police reported finding bags of marijuana leading from his car to the retention pond and about 30 grams of the drug in his pants.

In 2001 in Brown County, he was found guilty of possession of an altered handgun and receiving stolen property, both felonies.

In 2011, while living in Indianapolis, Swafford was found not guilty of murder, robbery and interfering with the reporting of a crime, according to online court records.

UPDATE 4:03 p.m.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Lt. Mark McCardia confirmed that officers are in the Spearsville area looking for 31-year-old Michael Swafford.

McCardia said Swafford’s family lives at the property in the 9000 block of Ridge Acres Drive. Officers are waiting on a warrant to arrive so they can search the property, he said.

He said the family is being cooperative with officers.


Police are gathered in northern Brown County near Ridge Acres and Spearsville/Peoga roads.

At about 2 p.m., the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department tweeted that they were seeking 31-year-old Michael Swafford for the attempted murder of an IMPD officer.

According to online court records, one of Swafford’s last known addresses is the 9000 block of Ridge Acres Drive in far northern Brown County.

Joe Nichols, a volunteer firefighter who was in the area, reported just before 2:30 p.m. that officers appeared to be searching a property on Ridge Acres.

He said he saw “about 20” police vehicles — some of which he thought were armored — traveling from Trafalgar, and he followed them to the intersection of Peoga, Bean Blossom and Spearsville roads.

At about 3 p.m., about 10 marked and unmarked vehicles and an ambulance were still gathered at the intersection near Spearsville Wesleyan Church.

Indiana State Police officers declined to answer questions on the record about why they were there.

An unmarked police truck sat near the junction of Spearsville/Peoga and Ridge Acres, and an ISP car and an unmarked white SUV were in front of a driveway slightly south of the junction.

Officers obtained an arrest warrant today for Swafford on charges of attempted murder, a Level 1 felony, and resisting law enforcement, a Level 6 felony.

Officers say they believe he shot at IMPD Officer Christopher Maher on March 8.

Just after 4 a.m., Maher attempted to stop a vehicle on the south side of Indianapolis for a traffic infraction, but the blue Chevy Cavalier attempted to evade him and led the officer on a short chase, the IMPD reported.

One of the occupants started shooting at the pursuing officer with what detectives believe was a rifle. The officer returned fire, damaging the rear window of the Cavalier, and at least two occupants fled on foot.

Maher, a 14-year veteran of the IMPD, sustained a slight injury to his left hand, likely from flying glass. He is resting at home on administrative leave, the IMPD reported today.

The police tweeted on March 8 that the vehicle had been found in the 3900 block of Emerson, burned out.

A public alert updated today described Swafford as armed and dangerous. “IMPD urges the suspect to peacefully surrender himself to authorities ASAP,” it said.

Anyone with information about Swafford’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-TIPS. All information shared with Crime Stoppers is considered anonymous.

Sara Clifford has been raising a family in Brown County since 2005 and leading the Brown County Democrat since late 2009. In addition to editor, she is the beat reporter for town government and writes columns, features and general news stories.