Fort Worth

He led cops on an overnight wild goose chase looking for his ‘daughter,’ police say


A man who went door-to-door in an east Fort Worth apartment complex, asking people if they had seen his 3-year-old daughter, was arrested after police spent more than six hours searching only to be told that the man has no child, police say.

John Jerald Ratcliff, 43, faces a charge of filing a false police report, according to jail records.

Police say he was reported as a suspicious person just before 11:30 p.m. Wednesday as he pretended to be searching for his non-existent daughter at the Falcon Ridge Apartments at 5414 Boca Bay Drive.

Police worked through the night, dispatching 28 units in all to the scene.

Finally, a neighbor told police shortly after 6 a.m. Thursday morning that Ratcliff has no children, police spokesman Buddy Calzada said.

“He should have come clean way earlier,” Calzada said of Ratcliff. “We wasted so much time on this, so many resources, when we had other high-priority calls we needed to attend to.

“I feel like at 11:35 (p.m.) I would have confessed,” Calzada said. “I just can’t believe we wasted so many resources.”

Calzada said he doesn’t know and doesn’t want to speculate about why Ratcliff allegedly made the false claim.

A woman in Fort Worth, Texas woke up Wednesday morning to find a man who’d broken into her apartment and was lying on top of her, police said. He fled when she yelled for help.

A man was shot and killed early Thursday morning in the parking lot of Corsets Cabaret in west Fort Worth, police say. It started with an altercation that was taken into the parking lot. Three others were shot.

Stephen English covers breaking news for the Star-Telegram. He attended Texas Wesleyan University and has lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for more than 30 years.