As is somewhat fitting for a modern-day ninja, Jeremiah Ransom is not seeking revenge against his enemies with Katana blades or throwing stars. Instead he had his lawyer mail them a letter demanding a formal apology.
It’s the latest step in the increasingly strange story surrounding Ransom, a sophomore at the University of Georgia, who gained national headlines two weeks ago when he was roughed up by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms after going to the dining hall in a ninja costume (see “University Ninja Ambushed By Feds On Way To Dining Hall” ).
At the time of the incident, in which ATF agents pinned him to the ground and searched him for weapons in broad daylight, Ransom said he was considering legal action. But while a lawsuit remains an option, his attorney said the whole thing can be rectified if the ATF will just say it’s sorry.
“We wrote the ATF a letter and [sent it through] certified mail two days ago, asking them to make a public apology for the whole incident,” said Paul Knott, Ransom’s attorney. “I spoke with Jeremiah and it was his decision. He felt that they should say they were sorry and say it publicly. We have not heard anything back yet, but if they refuse to apologize, well, then Jeremiah would pursue all legal remedies available to him.”
Knott said the letter was addressed to ATF Special Agent in Charge Vanessa McLemore, who oversees the ATF offices in Georgia. While she wasn’t available to comment on the issue, the ATF did release the following statement to MTV News on her behalf: “We are respectful of Mr. Ransom and his attorney’s desire to correspond with ATF regarding the matter. However, ATF is not going to use the media as a sounding board. Anything pertaining to this matter will be between Mr. Ransom and ATF.”
Knott told MTV News that Ransom suffered a bruise on his back as a result of an ATF agent holding him down and searching him. He said his client is only looking for the ATF agents to admit that they overreacted.
“We made it clear in the letter that [Ransom] has no problem with the fact that they stopped him, searched him or handcuffed him,” Knott said. “The problem is that they took it too far, they physically manhandled him, left him handcuffed for approximately 30 minutes. He presented no harm and they took it way too far, because they insisted on grandstanding.”