Mt. Pleasant Man Kidnaps, Rapes, Sets Fire to House, Attempts Murder, and Rams MSP Troopers

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

Mount pleasant is in disbelief that something so horrific could happen there.

"It's crazy and it's really scary that this is happening on our campus. We never would have expected it to happen here at CMU," said Anne Kozlowski, a CMU student.

"I'm baffled," said Steve Thompson, a CMU Campus Safety Expert and Professor. "Typically when you look at crime like that you say, 'well, what's the risk to the survivor, what's the risk to the offender.' There are generally no witnesses around."

The female victim was kidnapped Wednesday night outside the Event Center as she was heading to her car after a CMU basketball game.

Thursday word was spreading about the incident.

"I've just heard a lot [of talk] of fear," said Emily Stetson, a CMU student. "I was having a conversation with someone earlier and she was just saying that it was affecting her very deeply because she was scared and she felt so sorry for this girl."

The Isabella County Sheriff explains what how the suspect, 30-year-old Eric Lee Ramsey kidnapped the female victim.

"A male with a hand gun put it on [the victim's] shoulder and told her to slide over. So she went over to the passenger side, he got the keys from her, slid in the drivers side and took off," said Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski of Isabella County.

The Sheriff then says the victim was taken to a home on South Crawford Road, bound and sexually assaulted.

"He had actually targeted a couple other or was watching a couple other females, but they had been around other people so he didn't feel comfortable doing anything," said Mioduszewski. "Unfortunately the victim he actually did sexually assault was alone. There was nobody else around. He felt comfortable enough car jacking her car and taking her to the residence."

The two women undoubtably left the same CMU basketball game Wednesday night and will never know who they are.

"The victim asked him 'Why me? Why did you chose me? I don't even know who you are.' " said Mioduszewski. "That's when he said that he had been watching two other females, but there were too many people in the area to make hime comfortable enough to do anything."

After raping the female victim, Ramsey then got two filled gas cans and put her back in the car.

"As he's going down the road, he told her that he's going to kill her, and he lights his lighter," said Mioduszewski.

The victim, fearing for her life, jumped out of the car while it was moving.

She ran to a neighboring house where the residents let her in and they locked the door. All of them then went to the bathroom, locked the bathroom door and called 911.

While the four were inside the house Ramsey took the gas, poured it on the house and lit the house on fire. Ramsey then fled north to Gaylord.

It was while the house was burning that the home owner arrived home and put the fire out before it spread too far.

Sometime during the night Ramsey took time to update his Facebook page saying, "Well folks, I'm about to get shot. Peace."

"It was scary because, number one, at that point we didn't know where he was, what he planned on doing," said Mioduszewski. "We assumed he may still have been in the residence [where the rape occurred] and we didn't know what we were going to be facing. In fact, we called our emergency services SWAT team out for that too."

Ramsey rammed three different MSP Troopers while in Ostego and Crawford counties. He rammed one with his vehicle and another two with a dump truck that he stole after his car no longer worked. An MSP Trooper fatally shot Ramsey in self-defense.

"We were very concerned knowing his past history in addition to what he put on Facebook. We knew there wasn't going to be a real positive ending," said Mioduszewski.

State records show Ramsey has a criminal history. He served time for felonies in 2005 and 2007, including malicious destruction of fire or police property, assault of a police officer, and assault with a dangerous weapon. He was released from prison in July and on parole until 2014.

"Law enforcement has been aware of him. He has been through the criminal justice system numerous times, but he did his time; he was out on parole," said Mioduszewski. "[I'm] not happy with the ending… [but] fortunately besides the one victim, there was nobody else injured."

There are a lot of unanswered questions. The Isabella County Sheriff's office is now trying to piece together a motive.

"The big question is why did he do what he did? I am not sure we will be able to piece that together because obviously we can't interview him," said Mioduszewski. "We are all curious on why last night? Why was he on campus--he had no ties to campus as far as we are able to tell. Why did he head up north after committing the sexual assault? So many ifs and wondering why? We are going to try and put the pieces together but it's going to be a difficult process."

Police want to know what set Ramsey off, what was in his mind, and if he have any mental health issues.

"I think we all can learn something from this though, and just it's getting back to the basics," said Mioduszewski. "When you are out after dark there is safety in numbers. If at all possible be around other people or be in the presence of people when walking. It's very dangerous, even in safe communities, to walk alone because sometimes bad things happen."

Though the horror is over, students remain concerned.

"A lot of bad things have been happening here," said Anne Kozlowski, a CMU student. "I grew up here and it was always a good town, until I came to college and now all of this scary stuff is happening to people."

Kozlowski said she recently heard about stabbings, shootings and now this. She said she's afraid to be on campus alone, but it's hard with busy schedules.

"Walking to your home from campus is, you kind of have to do it and I work till night time so it's hard to not by by yourself," said Kozlowski.

CMU Police Chief Bill Yeagley said despite all their efforts, no police department can guarantee 100 percent security.

"We are doing a lot but we are not satisfied," said Yeagley. "We are even more committed because of this incident. This is terrible for us; we never want anything like this to happen."

He says the incident has strengthened the campus police department's resolve to work harder. Like many in the community, Chief Yeagley is grateful the victim is alive today.

"It's a terrible event," said Yeagley "We are very very pleased that our CMU student is home and healthy and safe with her parents."


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