St. Louis Policeman Matthew Schanz Allegedly Choked Boyfriend, Slammed His Head into Wall
A probable-cause statement, on view below, says that officer Matthew Schanz was off duty on March 10 when he assaulted his live-in boyfriend, identified only as "C.R."
"C.R. stated that, following a disagreement between the defendant and C.R., the defendant grabbed C.R. around the neck with his hands and began choking C.R.," the statement says.
Schanz has been with the department for three years and was assigned to the Sixth District, police say.
Here's what happened according to the statement given by the arresting officer, Bernard Jordan:
I was informed that the defendant and the victim C.R. were living together and involved in an intimate relationship. C.R. stated that, following an disagreement between the defendant and C.R., the defendant grabbed C.R. around the neck with his hands and began choking C.R. The defendant then forced C.R. into the bathroom of the home and smashed C.R.'s head against the wall of the bathroom, causing C.R. to suffer a gash in his head which required stitches. At this time C.R. called the police and the defendant left the house.
The statement goes on to say that Schanz was sitting outside in his car when cops arrived, but then took off. Officers chased after Schanz, who ignored the sirens and lights for a while before finally pulling over. That earned him another charge of resisting arrest.
Schanz was placed on desk duty after the incident occurred on March 10. Now that he's been formally charged he has been suspended. The SLMPD statement says Schanz is under investigation both criminally and by internal affairs. Here's the statement issued by Chief Sam Dotson:
The department remains committed to upholding the law with the highest standards. We remain vigilant in our efforts to identify those who compromise its integrity and professionalism. We should not allow the actions of one to diminish the hard work and dedication of the nearly 1300 men and women who serve the citizens of this community on a daily basis.
Schanz's attorney John Bouhasin told the Post-Dispatch that his client was defending himself against C.R., not the other way around. He added the two had not been dating long, but that Schanz has already taken out a restraining order against C.R.
The P-D also reports that an SLMPD sergeant may be in trouble for not taking a report the day of the incident. Schanz was not arrested until March 12, the same day an official report was finally written.
Updated 1:50: "I believe the victim has been physically aggressive with Officer Schanz in the past, he was physically aggressive with him that day," Bouhasin tells Daily RFT. "Officer Schanz was the victim of an assault. He only used the force required to exit the situation safely."
Bouhasin says Schanz and the victim had only been dating for three weeks before this incident took place, and that C.R. got his head wound from toppling over a toilet and striking his head on the wall. Schanz has subsequently taken out a restraining order against C.R. because, Bouhasin says, C.R. has refused to return the key to Schanz's home. He says Schanz, who's currently in custody, plans to plead "not guilty" to the charges and go to trial if necessary.
Check out the full probable-cause statement below. We'll update as we learn more.