On October 6th, 2018, Alexander County Sheriff Deputies and Hickory Police went to the residence of then 67-year old Ralph Walter Aldridge on Antioch Church Road. . Hickory Police intended to serve an involuntary commitment order on Aldridge who had allegedly made numerous threats to Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. When officers arrived shots were fired from inside the Aldridge home. Officers retreated as a safety precaution.
A standoff lasted into the next morning. At least ten canisters of tear gas were injected into the dwelling but Aldridge refused to surrender. Around sunrise, the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office S.T.A.R. Team entered the home and Aldridge exited through a garage door where he was quickly apprehended. Weapons and ammunition were seized from the home.
Aldridge is now 70 and charged with multiple counts of felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, multiple counts of attempted murder and communicating threats. He has been held in the Alexander County Detention Center since his arrest.
Jury selection began on October 18th.
Photo: Alexander County Sheriff’s Office