A Roanoke man who was attacked while trying to protect his daughter from an assailant at the Blue Cow Ice Cream Parlor disputes the police account of what happened.
Marcus Shelton said Saturday that contrary to reports published Friday in the immediate aftermath of the incident, his daughter, Rachel Shelton, was a hero during the altercation. She calmed the assailant, while an unidentified man who swung a chair in an apparent effort to stop the assault hurt Marcus Shelton instead.
Police were called to the restaurant at the corner of Walnut Avenue and Piedmont Street by a reported stabbing in progress at about 10 p.m., Thursday.
Shelton said his daughter had a protective order against Jordan Ornes, 26, of Roanoke, a former neighbor. She’d obtained the order on Monday.
Marcus Shelton and his wife Diane Shelton were worried that Ornes would violate that protective order Thursday night because Ornes knew where Rachel Shelton worked and that she would leave when the shop closed at 10 p.m.
The couple called police and asked for an officer to be in the area near the parlor and came to the site themselves. An officer did talk to the family, but wasn’t in the area at the time because his shift had ended. The nearest officers were also moved to a different call so no officer was close by, Marcus and Diane Shelton said.
Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones wrote in an email that he reviewed responding officers’ incident reports and wrote they “responded within training, policy and the Code of Virginia in reference to the issuance of protective orders.”
He wrote that emergency protective orders can “project a false sense of immediate protection.” However, the order only gives police the ability to arrest a person should officers be called to a specific location.
Jones wrote that he will “initiate a review of the dispatch records and calls for service Monday.”
The chief declined further comment about the incident, specifically related to witness interviews, victim information or press release protocols. But he wrote that he would “be glad to meet with the Shelton family to address their concerns related to the investigation.”
Marcus and Diane Shelton said Ornes showed up at the restaurant just before closing and moved behind the counter with what appeared to be a knife in his hand.
Marcus Shelton intervened, he and his wife said, pinning Ornes against a wall with the help of his daughter while his wife called police. Ornes began slicing at Marcus Shelton’s head, the couple said, and stabbed Rachel Shelton as well.
A man who was in the shop picked up a stool and swung it at Shelton and Ornes, striking Marcus Shelton in the back of the head, the couple said. He then swung a second chair at Shelton’s head, nearly knocking him out, according to the couple’s account. Then the man then left the scene.
Rachel Shelton drew Ornes out of the shop, her parents said. He cut her several times while she tried to calm him down and prevent him from stabbing anyone else. She talked to him outside until police arrived, her parents said.
Marcus and Diane Shelton said Ornes made no effort to leave when police got to the scene.
Diane Shelton said it took police between 10 and 12 minutes to respond.
“The hero in this situation is my daughter,” Marcus Shelton said.
Marcus Shelton was treated at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital for a concussion and numerous cuts on his head. He also has two black eyes. Rachel Shelton was treated for several cuts to her abdomen, arms and hands.
Ornes was arrested and is being held in Roanoke City Jail without bond. He’s charged with two counts of malicious wounding, violation of a protective order and making a written threat.
The Sheltons have a new protective order against Ornes.