SPEARSVILLE — Tim Brock sat on his front porch the afternoon of March 10, watching armored police vehicles head toward Ridge Acres Drive.
He couldn’t believe what he was seeing later that evening when the mugshot of Michael B. Swafford, 31, popped up on the evening news.
Swafford was charged March 10 with attempted murder, a Level 1 felony, and resisting law enforcement, a Level 6 felony.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police believe Swafford shot at an officer March 8 while he was attempting to stop the vehicle Swafford was in.
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“I know he would steal, mischievous stuff, but I didn’t think he’d go as far as to try and murder someone,” Brock said.
Swafford’s parents live on Ridge Acres Road, one of the last known addresses listed in his court records.
“They are as good as people you’d ever want to meet,” Brock said of Robert and Beverly Swafford, Michael’s mother and stepfather. “Good neighbors. You wouldn’t want no better neighbors.”
That afternoon, Beverly and Robert were not allowed to return to their home as Indiana State Police, Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team and Indianapolis Metro Police Violent Crimes Unit were serving arrest and search warrants on their home looking for their son.
Police and an ambulance gathered down the road at Spearsville Wesleyan Church.
They left Thursday evening without Swafford.
“We’ve caught him before, and we’ll get him again,” IMPD Lt. Mark McCardia said in church lot that afternoon.
In 2007, Greenwood police shot Swafford 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, according to newspaper archives.
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.
In 2013, he pleaded guilty in Monroe County to resisting arrest, a felony. An auto theft charge in that 2011 case was dismissed.
Officers believe Swafford was the man who 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 led the officer on a short chase, the IMPD reported.
One of the occupants started shooting at the officer with what detectives suspect was a rifle. The officer returned fire, damaging the rear window of the Cavalier, and at least two occupants ran from the scene.
Maher, a 14-year veteran of the IMPD, sustained a slight injury to his left hand, likely from flying glass. Late last week, he was on administrative leave.
The IMPD tweeted March 8 that the vehicle had been found on Emerson Avenue, burned out.
A public alert updated March 10 described Swafford as armed and dangerous. “IMPD urges the suspect to peacefully surrender himself to authorities ASAP,” it said.
On the day of the search, Brock stopped to talk with one of the detectives. The officer showed him a picture of Swafford, hoping to get more information on his whereabouts.
“I told him I already know who he is,” Brock said.
The neighbors don’t believe he will return to the area. They haven’t seen Michael in at least eight years, Brock said.
Swafford attended Brown County schools for several years, but did not continue with the class of 2002.
“He used to have a smile on his face, he was happy,” Brock said.
“It’s hard to believe he lived right there,” he said. “You know Spearsville, it’s just a quiet town.”
Anyone with information about Michael B. 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.