West Fargo detective arrested in scuffle with girlfriend
FARGO - An off-duty West Fargo police investigator was arrested in Fargo early Wednesday and is charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
Allen Edward Schmidt, 41, is accused of hitting his girlfriend in the face and grabbing her arm, according to a complaint filed on Wednesday in Cass County District Court.
The girlfriend, Sheila Ann Windt, 36, also faces a disorderly conduct charge, accused of ripping a lip ring from Schmidt's mouth and biting his chest.
Fargo police notified West Fargo police that Schmidt was arrested about 2:20 a.m. and booked into the Cass County Jail, West Fargo Police Chief Arland Rasmussen stated in a news release.
West Fargo police will review the report prior to taking any administrative action, Rasmussen said.
At an initial court appearance, Schmidt pleaded not guilty on Wednesday. Windt also pleaded not guilty on Wednesday.
Court documents state Fargo police responded early Wednesday to a report of a couple in a verbal and physical confrontation in the 2900 block of 34th Avenue South. The caller told dispatchers he could hear a woman screaming and telling a man to leave her alone.
At the corner of 34th Avenue South and 32nd Street, an officer first made contact with Schmidt, who had blood running down his chin from his lip.
The woman, later identified as Windt, was walking away and was approached by another officer.
When asked by the officer what had happened, Schmidt said everything was fine, documents claim.
Schmidt then identified himself as a West Fargo police officer and said he had been wearing a fake lip ring, which he ripped out of his mouth, causing the bleeding.
Meanwhile, Windt, who had blood on her face and the front of her shirt, allegedly told an officer that Schmidt had hit her in the face. The officer also observed a bruise on her arm where Windt said Schmidt had grabbed her, which was consistent with information given by the person who called the police, documents allege.
Windt allegedly admitted to ripping out Schmidt's ring and to biting him on the chest. A bite mark was observed on Schmidt's left breast, documents say.
The disorderly conduct charges against Windt and Schmidt are both Class B misdemeanors, the lowest level of criminal charge.
Schmidt, who was hired by the West Fargo Police Department in June 1995, was released from custody Wednesday at 4 p.m., a Cass County Jail official said.
The investigator's arrest comes at the same time as area police agencies have been putting a heightened focus on the issue of domestic violence.
In Fargo, a public awareness campaign kicked off last month, while in Clay County, a specialized diversion court has been set up for domestic cases.