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Councilman faces three charges

Dan Schulte with his attorney, Patricia Galvin, stand before Judge Russell Ethridge on Tuesday, Aug. 13. photo by Brad Lindberg.

August 15, 2013
GROSSE POINTE SHORES — The mayor pro tem contends his second arrest for domestic violence in three months is a send up by vengeful police.

"I think a lot of this is political because, apparently, the police don't like me," said Grosse Pointe Shores Councilman Dan Schulte, free on $1,000 personal bond following his second arrest since May for domestic violence.

Schulte, 59, was arrested at his house on Hampton at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 7, due to an incident reported by his wife, 48, and involving an adult son.

At Schulte's arraignment the following afternoon by Grosse Pointe Shores Municipal Judge Matthew Rumora, he pleaded innocent to:

assaulting, resisting or obstructing police, which has a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment;

interfering with a crime report, punishable by up to one year incarceration, and

domestic violence, punishable by up to 93 days in jail.

Schulte attributes the charges to a city council decision two years ago to provide new municipal employees less costly defined contribution benefit plans instead of traditional defined benefits.

"Changes in their package structure has probably not made them very happy with anybody on the council," Schulte said. "I think this is a reflection of that. Aside from that, I don't have a lot to say."

"This case was handled exactly the way any other similar call for service would be handled by my officers," said John Schulte, director of Shores public safety.

Director Schulte is unrelated to the councilman.

"Officers report the facts of the incident," the director added. "Charges are issued by the prosecutor, not by the police."

"We're very proud of our public safety department," said Mayor Ted Kedzierski. "Our officers are highly trained. They're dedicated and professional in their service to the community."

Rumora scheduled a preliminary investigation for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 at City of Grosse Pointe Municipal Court with Judge Russell Ethridge presiding.

Rumora recused himself from further proceedings, according to court representatives.

Councilman Schulte's prior arrest for domestic violence occurred at his house in May. County prosecutor's didn't file charges, citing a lack of evidence.

Last week, a public safety dispatcher deployed officers to Schulte's house regarding an "interrupted" 911 call from a woman, later identified as Mrs. Schulte.

She reported "that her husband was attempting to prevent her and her (adult) son from leaving the house," according to an initial incident report by Sgt. James Wardowski.

All comments on the matter from Shores officers come from their written incident reports.

"She further explained that the anger issues are increasing and that she is concerned," according to Detective Lt. Scott Rohr. "She further stated she is considering leaving the house prior to his release."

All Shores patrolmen responded to Schulte's house.

PSO Jason Rengert arrived to find a white GMC Acadia blocking a silver Trailblazer from exiting the garage.

"I noted (Councilman Schulte) running into the house," Rengert wrote. "(Mrs. Schulte) stated she was not injured."

Rengert later learned that Schulte used his vehicle to block his wife and adult son from leaving the property, according to his report.

Rengert obtained Mrs. Schulte's permission to enter the house.

"(Schulte) responded, 'Get out of my house unless you have a warrant,'" Rengert wrote. "(He) ran into a hallway and locked himself into an office."

Schulte reportedly called 911.

Rengert obtained Wardowski's permission to kick in the office door.

"I made entry," Rengert wrote.

Officers said they corroborated Mrs. Schulte's complaint and arrested the councilman. They took him to headquarters in handcuffs.

Minutes before transferring Schulte to the Farms lockup for the night — the Shores is no longer outfitted to hold prisoners beyond the booking process — Schulte claimed to be ill and requested hospital attention, according to police.

Medics, accompanied by a patrolman, took Schulte to St. John Hospital and Medical Center.

The patrolman stood by until Schulte's discharge at 5:20 a.m., thereupon completing the transfer to the Farms.

Schulte remained incarcerated until arraigned in Farms court.

"(Mrs. Schulte) stated the incident started over an argument about travel plans for an upcoming family trip," Wardowski wrote.

"The argument was escalating to the point that (Schulte) appeared to come toward (his son, who) grabbed an old chair to put distance between himself and (his father)," Rengert wrote, based on witness statements.

"That isn't true," Councilman Schulte said in a phone message. "He took the chair and slammed it down on the floor and smashed the chair. I've got photographs of it. That's what happened."

The son apparently swore at Schulte, Wardowski wrote.

"(Schulte) told (his son) to get out of the house," Wardowski wrote.

Mrs. Schulte said she was going to take the son elsewhere for the night, according to Rengert.

"Apparently, (Schulte) did not like the idea and blocked her with his vehicle," Rengert wrote.

Mrs. Schulte said she was going to call police, according to officers.

"(Schulte) told her to 'Go ahead and call them,' but then, in a fit of rage, he proceeded over her and with both hands grabbed ahold of (her) right wrist and twisted until (she) was no longer able to grip the phone," Wardowski wrote.

Photos "documented several abrasions on the right wrist of the victim," Rengert wrote.

He added, "Schulte denied all and stated he wanted to press charges against his wife. There was no evidence to support any charges."

The original account of this story was breaking news at grossepointenews.com.

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