October 13, 2023 – Port Charlotte, FL
Earlier this morning, a man was taken into custody following an 11-hour standoff with deputies that included hostages.
Just before midnight on October 12, 2023, Charlotte County 911 operators received a call regarding a man who was “going berserk” in a Port Charlotte home. Deputies were immediately dispatched to the residence on Granger Rd. and upon arriving could hear a female calling out in distress. As units made their way into the home, they found the source of the screaming was from one room, which had been blocked from inside to prevent entry. Through a small gap in the door, deputies were able to see a woman inside before hearing a male voice that declared “This is a hostage situation. I have guns and I will use them!”. The deputies then exited the home to prevent further escalation. Through investigative efforts, it was determined that the male inside was convicted felon Jason Eugene Ritenour (06/09/1983) and that there were two adult females inside with him, being held against their will.
While outside, deputies made contact with Jason via cell phone and attempted to convince him to let the females out and surrender peacefully. Despite efforts that continued throughout the incident, Jason refused to cooperate. Jason continued to warn deputies that if they entered the home again, he would “cause harm”, utilizing three guns in his possession. From outside, units could also hear the sound of drilling and pounding coming from within the home. It was later discovered that Jason had been building barricades out of miscellaneous materials in the residence.
While negotiators spoke with Jason, detectives obtained both a warrant for his arrest and for a search of the residence. Following this, members of the Charlotte County SWAT team, in collaboration with Sarasota County SWAT members, developed a strategy that would gain entry to the home and rescue the hostages. This strategy was implemented, and Jason immediately surrendered at that time. There were no injuries to Jason, the hostages, or members who were involved.
“I want to thank all of the deputies who responded to this morning’s incident, to include our brothers from Sarasota County. While this was a long and frustrating situation, the outcome is the best that we could hope for with no one getting hurt. This is a testament to the patience and outstanding efforts of both agencies to ensure the safety of everyone involved.”Sheriff Bill Prummell
Jason was transported to the Charlotte County Jail, where he faces the following charges:
- Kidnapping an Adult for Ransom or as a Shield
- Battery – Second or Subsequent Off
- Aggravated Battery Causes Great Bodily Harm
- Possession of Firearm Ammunition or Weapon by Florida Convicted Felon
- Convicted Felon Fails to Register
- Tampering with a Witness 3rd Deg Felony Proceeding
- Resisting Officer Without Violence
- Aggravated Assault with Deadly Weapon without Intent to Kill