Veteran charged with terroristic threats after VA takes his dog away

Ralph Jeffrey Jones. Photo credit: Butler County Sheriff

A Poplar Bluff veteran was arrested Tuesday after making threats of violence towards VA officials after his dog was allegedly taken from him.

According to Southeast Missourian, Ralph Jeffrey Jones, 52, was upset that someone at the VA had removed his dog from his home, presumably during a period when he was hospitalized.

Shortly after being taken home, Jones called the VA, Veteran’s Affairs Police officer David Carter was asked to speak with Jones, who angrily demanded to know the whereabouts of his dog.

“Jones asked where his dog was at,” Poplar Bluff PD officer Jeremy Elless wrote. “Jones was informed that his dog was with his sister. After being informed of this, he stated he was going to come up to the VA and whoop my a–.”

Carter said Jones threatened to bring a gun and shoot Carter and another VA officer, Carl Adams.

Jones also contacted VA social worker Rebecca Hart, telling her the “police had taken his dog away and then taken him home,” Hart said. “He stated: ‘Somebody better bring me my f—ing dog; I won’t live through the night if I don’t have my dog.’” He demanded he speak to his sister, who was also a VA employee.

“Jones stated he will put a bullet in his f—ing head if he doesn’t get his dog back,” Elless said. “Hart asked if he had a gun, to which he replied: ‘Yes, I have a gun.” Jones also confirmed homicidal intent.

Jones also called the National Veterans Crisis Hotline on Monday, telling respondents that he was going to “bring a gun and start shooting people”. The next afternoon, Jones was arrested. The dog was in his house at the time of arrest.

According to Butler County Sheriff’s Department, Jones “was taken into custody at his residence without incident.  He was booked on a charge of Making a Terrorist Threat (class C felony), and lodged in the Butler County Jail.”

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  • Andy Wolf

    Andy Wolf is an Appalachian native who spent much of his youth and young adulthood overseas in search of combat, riches, and adventure- accruing decades of experience in military, corporate, first responder, journalistic and advisory roles. He resides in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains with his K9 companion, Kiki.

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