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2011-01-06

Busted flat by Live Oak PD

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

"He didn't want to fight when he saw the dogs and tasers," said a spokesman for the Live Oak Police Department regarding the Sunday, Jan. 2, apprehension of local fugitive, William Cassidy Ratliff.
Officers with LOPD arrested the Bandera County fugitive at 9 pm as he exited a vehicle in front of a residence where he was staying, according to Sgt. Anita Seamans.
"We timed this very carefully," she continued. "We didn't want him to get into the house nor did we want to have to stop the vehicle. Often, when that happens, fugitives have a tendency to run and we didn't want some poor family who was just minding their own business to get injured or killed in a car chase."
According to Seamans, a deputy with the Bandera County Sheriff's Office had contacted her Thursday or Friday, Dec. 30 or 31, with information where Ratliff was supposedly staying in the Live Oak area. "We set up surveillance and it paid off," she said. "He got out of the car and looked down the barrel of a taser and a snarling German shepherd held by a K-9 officer from another city. Often, the threat of being tasered doesn't affect criminals, but none of them seem to like dogs all that much."
Ratliff was taken into custody without incident and booked into the Bexar County Jail. "We found marijuana on him so we added a possession charge to the other outstanding warrants he already had," Seamans said. Ratliff's arrest gave LOPD officers probable cause to obtain a search warrant for his hotel room in northwest San Antonio. At that address, officers found evidence of other criminal activity.
Apparently, the fugitive had indulged himself with a shopping spree at a local mall - no doubt taking advantage of post-holiday sales. While she wouldn't speculate if the gains found in Ratliffe's hotel room were ill-gotten, Seamans noted, "We know [Ratliffe] had no visible means of support to purchase anything."
Remarking on the ease with which the apprehension occurred, Seamans said, "A lot of prayer went into this and the glory goes to the Lord that it worked without a problem."
According to BCSO Chief Deputy Richard Smith, although Ratliff apparently skipped Bandera County, in short order, the sheriff's office received a report that the fugitive was heading to a residence in Live Oak, an incorporated municipality located near the interchange of Interstate 35 and Loop 1604 at the northeast boundary of San Antonio. BCSO deputies enlisted the aid of officers with the Live Oak Police Department to apprehend the 25-year-old fugitive who had successfully evaded capture by local law enforcement authorities since July.
Smith said that a juvenile female was also arrested separately in conjunction with the fugitive's capture. She remains in juvenile detention in Kerrville.
In November, the BCSO issued a press release offering a reward for information that would lead to Cassidy's arrest.
The plot thickened on Dec. 9, when BCSO investigators obtained six separate felony warrants against Ratliff for burglary of habitations.
The new charges came as a result of half a dozen break-ins of residences in the Lake Medina Shores area. A subsequent investigation turned up items of stolen property. In addition, other suspects allegedly confessed to being involved in the thefts and their witness statements confirmed Ratliff's involvement.
In an earlier interview, Smith said additional affirmative evidence, including fingerprints lifted in the burgled residences, had linked Ratliff to the crimes. "Cassidy's apparently taking anything that he can sell for money such as TVs, CDs and guns," Smith said at that time. Smith indicted that several stolen items had been located in pawnshops in San Antonio and Kerrville.
In a related incident, deputies arrested Ratliff's mother, 54-year-old Kathleen Ratliff, on Wednesday, Dec. 29, and charged her with felony hindering the apprehension and prosecution of a fugitive. She bonded out of the Bandera County Jail the next day.
The arrest apparently set things in motion for Ratliff's eventual capture.
As Smith said, "I recently received a phone call from Cassidy and he told me he was never going to turn himself in. He said, 'I'm going to start a new life on the lam and you'll never catch me.\' I guess he was wrong."
Now local law enforcement must sort out the myriad charges being contemplated against Ratliff. "That's gonna take a little time," Smith said. "I think the burglary charges are up to 10 now."
As for Ratliff, he remains incarcerated in Bexar County's Gray Bar Inn until BCSO deputies can arrange for his transport back to Bandera.