Man who wielded machete during assault faces prison term.

December 8, 2021


Man who wielded machete during assault faces prison term.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

LUDINGTON — A 46-year-old Indiana man who wielded a machete during an assault and then led local police on a six-hour manhunt after fleeing from the crime scene pleaded guilty in 51st Circuit Court Tuesday, Dec. 7, to assault with a dangerous weapon and domestic violence.

Bret Rowe Cooper faces a prison term of 22 months to eight years in exchange for his plea. A charge of breaking and entering without owner’s permission is being dismissed, and his fourth-offense habitual offender designation will be reduced to third-offense.

The convictions stem from a Sept. 5, 2021 incident in the Home Depot parking lot in Amber Township when Cooper assaulted a male victim with a machete and knife, said Mason County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Beth Hand. Cooper’s girlfriend was the victim in the domestic violence offense, said Hand. After Cooper assaulted his girlfriend, a citizen came to her aid. Cooper pulled a knife and a machete, threatening the Good Samaritan. 

As Mason County sheriff’s deputies arrived, he ran from the parking lot. Because Cooper was armed with the machete, deputies set up a perimeter and called in the county’s emergency response team, K-9 units, fire departments and neighboring law enforcement. He was located shortly after 11 p.m. and taken into custody without incident.

His habitual offender designation increases the four-year maximum to eight years, said Judge Susan K. Sniegowski.

He was sentenced Aug. 18, 2020 to two years and four months in an Indiana prison for a conviction of criminal confinement, according to Indiana Department of Corrections records. However, he was released June 15, 2021 after serving less than a year. Cooper also has convictions in Indiana of methamphetamine possession and obstructing justice, said Judge Sniegowski.

Sentencing is scheduled for Jan 25 at 1 p.m. He is lodged in the Mason County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

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