Suspect has outstanding case mirroring alleged Friday events in Mustang
By Traci Chapman
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is actively pursuing a case that Friday led to a Mustang officer shooting a 42-year-old man from Yukon.
That man, Benjamin Harold Ballard, has a record of misdemeanor and traffic convictions involving drinking and driving, as well as a still pending Kingfisher County case where prosecutors charged the Yukon man with having possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol.
Those charges seemed to mirror the situation that unfolded Friday in Mustang, according to information provided by OSBI.
The incident began about 6:45 p.m., records showed, when Mustang officers encountered Ballard, who they suspected of driving under the influence, in the parking lot of a gas station located at the intersection of SW 59th and Mustang Road.
Investigators said Ballard allegedly pulled out a firearm; shots were fired, and the 42-year-old died at the scene.
Kingfisher County District Court prosecutors charged Ballard in March with two misdemeanor charges – carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and public intoxication. According to documents filed in that case, Ballard was allegedly carrying a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield .38-caliber pistol at a store in Kingfisher when arrested.
That case was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic but Ballard appeared at a June 1 hearing, which was reset to Aug. 3. If convicted, Ballard could have faced a maximum $500 fine and up to six months in jail.
As of press time no further information – including the status or identity of the officer or officers involved – was forthcoming from either OSBI or Mustang Police Department, which deferred questions to the state agency because it had undertaken investigation of the incident.
Chief Rob Groseclose did comment generally on the matter Monday, however.
“Certainly any loss of life is tragic; I certainly feel for all the officers on the scene as well as the family of the suspect,” the chief said. “As a police officer we swear an oath to serve and protect, some days that is easier than others.
“Please pray for all those lives that have been changed,” Groseclose said.
In addition to the Kingfisher County case, Ballard’s record contained several other convictions, according to Oklahoma State Courts Network, including:
- A 2014 driving while under the influence of alcohol misdemeanor and failure to keep in proper lane traffic case;
- Two 2018 traffic cases for driving under revoked license and speeding
- A 2001 Lincoln County driving under the influence of alcohol misdemeanor, which also included a count of transporting beer in an open container.
He received a one-year suspended sentence, costs and fees in the 2014 and 2018 cases, respectively. Both of those were filed in Canadian County District Court. Ballard spent two days of a one-year suspended sentence in jail on the Lincoln County case, records showed.
Should OSBI show wrongdoing by Mustang personnel, they would forward a case to Canadian County prosecutors for review and possible filing of charges, officials said. As of press time there was no indication of wrongdoing, although that determination was not yet made official.