Tax commissioner candidate arrested, charged for incident that occurred November 2015

Published 2:42 pm Friday, February 5, 2016



Bainbridge resident and Decatur County Tax Commissioner candidate Ryan Shirley was arrested Wednesday and charged two counts of Felony Aggravated Assault.

Shirley turned himself in to the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office after a warrant was filed for his arrest Wednesday morning. Magistrate Judge Maggie Rentz Smith signed the warrant.

On Nov. 10, 2015, Bainbridge Public Safety received a call in reference to stolen property. Two juveniles had stolen a dirt bike Shirley had for sale outside his pawnshop, City Pawn Shop, on Shotwell Street. Shirley pursued the juveniles, who dropped the bike and ran in different directions, and hit one of them with his Jeep during the chase, according to a BPS incident report.

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“Ryan Shirley got into his personal vehicle, and went looking for (the dirt bike),” BPS Investigator Chip Nix said. “He saw the kids and pursued them while they ran on foot. We had independent witnesses in the area that watched him drive in a reckless manner.”

Shirley eventually cornered the juvenile he hit behind KFC on Shotwell Street, pulled out a gun and told him not to move. He never pointed the gun at the juvenile, according to the incident report. When BPS arrived on the scene, Shirley stated he “ran over” the boy.

The injured juvenile was taken to Bainbridge Memorial Hospital and released with a bruised arm, the incident report states.

“This arrest comes approximately four months after an incident where I apprehended an individual by citizens arrest after he had stolen a $3,000 motorcycle from me,” Shirley said. “Unfortunately, he was injured in the incident, but he was eventually apprehended. Nothing has been mentioned in a long period of time and this arrest came as a complete surprise, considering I am the victim in this crime. I have full faith in the local legal process and can assure everyone I will be exonerated once all the evidence comes to light in court.”

The two juveniles were charged in the juvenile court system, Nix said.

Nix said after investigating the incident, he anticipated having the case presented to the November term Grand Jury, which convened Tuesday. However, it wasn’t presented, leading Nix to file a warrant to move forward with the case.

District Attorney Joe Mulholland said the case file was brought to him the Thursday before the week of Grand Jury, and he didn’t feel comfortable making a special presentation two days out.

“From the beginning, Nix and I talked that we were going to do a special presentation,” Mulholland said. “We got the case file late Thursday afternoon, and I told BPS I didn’t feel comfortable presenting it without reviewing the facts.”

Getting a case that involved the circumstances in Shirley’s incident two days before Grand Jury would not lead to a fair presentation, Mulholland said.