Crime, Lawyer of the Day, Weirdness

Lawyer of the Day: Midwestern Attorney Allegedly Sets Trap On Himself

Okay, now imagine this with a shotgun.

A truly bizarre story is coming out of the woods of Indiana. An attorney, Peter Raventos, has been accused of staging his own shooting.

Police now believe that Raventos rigged a shotgun to shoot him in the back on June 25 at McCormick’s Creek State Park.

Thing is, nobody really knows why. Police haven’t released a suspected motive, and Raventos hasn’t commented on the allegations. But police have found the materials to make an elaborate booby trap that they contend Raventos set for himself.

See, this is the kind of weird ass stuff that happens to Midwesterners with too much time on their hands. I’ve lived in Indy, and there’s only so much time you can spend in the Steak ‘n Shake before you start thinking about things you can do with shotguns….

On June 25, 2012, Raventos called 911 and told officers he’d been shot in the back by an unknown gunman. Raventos was taken to the hospital and was “treated for wounds inflicted by more than 20 shotgun pellets.” Indiana Lawyer picks up the story from there:

“It was quite unusual from the minute we arrived,” DNR Law Enforcement District 5 Commander Lt. Kent Hutchins said Monday. “Evidence indicates it was staged by himself.”…

Witness statements led conservation officers to an area of the park where the shooting was believed to have occurred, DNR said. There officers found bungee cords, fishing line, a spent shotgun shell, an unspent shotgun shell and a small piece of plywood embedded with shotgun pellets. Conservation officer K-9 units searching the area also found a shotgun wad — a small plastic cup inside a shotgun shell casing that separates the pellets from the gunpowder. When fired, the wad is expelled and falls to the ground.

Conservation officer scuba divers searched the nearby White River and located a 20-gauge shotgun that was later linked to Raventos.

This seems like a great time to point out that Raventos was a lawyer in good standing with the Indiana bar and has no history of disciplinary actions.

What really gets me is that the police don’t have — and don’t seem to care about — a motive for Raventos’s alleged actions:

“This incident, whatever the motive, placed needless fear in the public’s mind that our state parks are unsafe,” DNR Director Rob Carter said in statement. “We do everything we can to make state parks an enjoyable experience for visitors, above all families. I’m pleased that our Law Enforcement Division was able to get to the bottom of this and bring it to a quick resolution so the public can have peace of mind when they visit the park.”

If true, why would somebody do this? Raventos is 43. I’m assuming that a 43-year-old wouldn’t use this method to end it all to get out of debt or some other bad situation — there are simply far more fatally effective ways to use a shotgun.

Do the police think that Raventos was trying to inspire fear of the Indiana night? Do they think that this was the first step in an elaborate civil suit against the Parks Department? Why don’t the police seem to care about this?

And while the police think they’ve solved this drama, Raventos hasn’t spoken about it. For all we know, somebody stole his shotgun and rigged it to fire at him while he was enjoying a summer night in a state park. Did you think of that? The Booby Trap Buckshot injurer could be roaming the wilderness as we speak!

I’m sure there is more to this story than bungee cords and fishing line. Indiana friends, please keep us posted if additional details emerge. And stay away from McCormick’s Creek — but if you could throw a tomato or something when Nickelback hits up Deer Creek this summer, I’d be much obliged.

Attorney staged his own shooting, authorities say [Indiana Lawyer]

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