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HCSO log

By submitted, 12/26/17 2:05 PM

Hempstead County Sheriff's Department

At approximately 1943 hours on 12/24/17 Sgt. Jim Bush was dispatched to 206 Columbus Street in reference to a suspicious person. Dispatch advised that the caller reported that the subject in a white Mercury Mountaineer pulled up to the front of the residence, then began going through someone’s trash in the area, and then left. The caller then called back and reported that he pulled up and exited the vehicle and came onto their property. They stated that the white male then got back into the SUV and began driving down Little River Street.

Upon arrival in the area, Sgt. Bush made contact with the caller Tony Kruger. Tony advised Sgt. Bush that when the subject got out of the vehicle he approached him and threatened him.  Kruger stated that he then got back in his vehicle and drove down Little River Street. Kruger pointed him out parked at the Fulton Post Office at 303 Little River Street.

Sgt. Bush drove to where the suspect later identified as Joshua Schmeltzer age 31 of Newark, Ohio, was and observed him messing with some trash. Sgt. Bush exited his patrol vehicle The Suspect began reaching towards his pocket. Bush ordered the suspect not to reach in his pockets, the suspect continued to reach for his pockets again, Sgt. Bush again ordered the suspect and the suspect complied. Sgt. Bush asked the suspect to face his patrol vehicle and advised the suspect that he was going to pat him down for weapons since he kept reaching for his pockets. Sgt. Bush did not locate any weapons.

Sgt. Bush noticed suspect was sweating and it was around 35 degrees Fahrenheit outside at the time Bush made contact with him. This in addition to his abnormal behavior lead Sgt. Bush to believe that he was under the influence of narcotics.  Sgt. Bush asked him what he was doing and he said that god told him to stop here and he was picking up trash. He then turned and stated that he had somewhere to be and attempted to walk away. Sgt. Bush advised him that he still needed to speak with him and to stop. He continued to attempt to walk away Sgt. Bush took control of his left arm and told him to place his hands behind his back.

He refused to comply and at first passively resisted by not letting me get his other hand behind his back. Bush then ordered him again to place his other hand behind his back he refused and pulled away Bush then attempted to take him down to the ground and in doing so; Bush fell at the same time as the suspect landed on his right side. The suspect was able to get back up to his knees and Bush pushed him back to the ground this time with him on his back. Bush pinned him to the ground and attempted to call for back up but was unable to get out on his portable radio. During this time, he attempted to push me off him causing a scratch on the left side of Sgt. Bush’s’ face. Bush was able to get him on his stomach and summoned the callers who were parked in their truck at the end of the road.

Sgt. Bush got control of Joshua’s right wrist and was able to get a handcuff on. Tony Kruger, John Pettit, and David Akin then assisted me in getting control of the other hand and getting it cuffed. Sgt. Bush then double locked the cuffs and checked for proper fit. I also searched Joshua. I then placed him into my patrol unit with his hands cuffed behind him and placed a seatbelt on him.

Sgt. Bush began an impound log and had dispatch get the next wrecker on rotation in route.  While getting the impound log from my truck Joshua complained that it was hot, in an attempt to keep the suspect calm Sgt. Bush turned the air conditioner on. Bush then went back to doing the inventory for the impound log. During this time, Sgt. Bush heard the passenger side door of my patrol unit come open and observed the suspect now with the cuffs in front of him walking towards me. Sgt. Bush took the suspect by the arm and then walked him back to the patrol unit. Sgt. Bush ordered him to get in and he refused Sgt. Bush assisted the suspect into the truck. Before Sgt. Bush could get back to the other side of the truck to figure out why door didn’t lock The suspect opened it and began to run away from Sgt. Bush towards the other side of the road.

Sgt. Bush pursued the suspect on foot as he turned heading back towards his vehicle which still had the key in it and was still running and Sgt. Bush deployed his department issued X-26 Taser with both prongs going into his jacket near his right shoulder. The Suspect made it into the driver’s seat of the vehicle. He was reaching for the shifter as Sgt. Bush reached in and turned the key off. The suspect then bit the middle of Sgt. Bush’s left forearm. Sgt. Bush deployed his taser and then pulled him from the vehicle and placed him face down on the street. Sgt. Bush held The suspect   and had Jim West with West Wrecker call 911 to get a couple Hope Police Officers in route.

Officer Justin Dean, Cpl. Scott Hurd, and Officer Jose Camacho of the Hope Police Department responded. Upon their arrival, Sgt. Bush had them assist me and removing the handcuffs and placing them behind his back again. Sgt. Bush then requested that Officer Camacho transport the suspect to the Hempstead County Detention Center.

Sgt. Bush finished the Impound log and turned the vehicle over to West Wrecker.

Sgt. Bush suffered a Bite mark on his left forearm, and scratches to his face.

The suspect Joshua Schmelzer, 31, of Newark, Ohio, was booked for Battery 2nd degree on a law enforcement officer, Aggravated Assault on a law enforcement officer, Escape 3rd Degree, Fleeing, Resisting Arrest, and Terroristic Threatening.


At approximately 0600 hours on December 24, 2017 Deputy Luke Sorensen was dispatched to the 100 block of Hempstead 48 in reference to a vehicle blocking the roadway.

Upon arrival at approximately 6:24 am Deputy Sorensen observed a tan Lincoln Town car parked across the road, blocking any traffic coming through the road.  Deputy Sorensen exited his patrol car and observed that the vehicle, was not running and appeared to have someone inside.  Deputy Sorensen knocked on the driver’s door window but the subject, sitting in the driver’s seat, inside the vehicle did not move.

Deputy Sorensen finally got a response from the subject in the vehicle.  Deputy Sorensen recognized the subject to be Wendell Witherspoon, who he had spoken to on past incidents.  When Wendell opened the door to the vehicle Deputy Sorensen could smell a strong odor of intoxicating beverages coming from him when he spoke.  The Deputy also observed an open “natural Light” beer can in the cup holder, a box of Natural Light beer cans, and a half gallon of vodka in the passenger floorboard of the car.

Deputy Sorensen asked Wendell what he was doing and he stated that he was “just sleeping”.  Wendell was slurring his words while as he was speaking with the deputy at that time. The Deputy asked Wendell to step out of the vehicle and also asked him how much he had to drink today.  He stated that it had been a few hours since he drank anything but that he had been drinking.  When Wendell exited the vehicle, The deputy observed that the keys were in the ignition and the vehicle was still in drive, even though the motor was not running.  Deputy Sorensen asked Wendell if he would perform a few tests for him to determine if he was impaired, he stated that he would. At this time Sorensen observed that the license plate on the vehicle was expired and asked Wendell why he was driving with expired tags.  Wendell stated that he bought the car a few months ago from Morris Auction and hadn’t been able to get it registered in his name yet.  I observed a Morris Auction sticker on the car at this time.

Sorensen attempted to instruct Wendell on the test he needed him to perform, but he started arguing that he was in his driveway and not on the road.  Deputy Sorensen advised him that he was parked in the middle of the road and not in his driveway.  Deputy Sorensen asked Wendell to stand in front of him so he could perform the tests.  Wendell then took a step away from the deputy and again stated that he was in his driveway.  Deputy Sorensen then advised Wendell to turn around and place his hands behind his back.  Deputy Sorensen advised Wendell that since he would not comply with taking the test he was being placed under arrest for suspicion of driving while intoxicated.  The deputy placed Wendell in handcuffs, checking for proper fit and double locking.

Sorensen booked Wendell Witherspoon, 37 of Hope, for driving while intoxicated, driving on a suspended license, and failing to pay registration.  He was issued citation #200655 with a court date of January 29, 2018.  Wendell was then turned over to the on-duty jail staff to be booked in on his aforementioned charges.

Public Intoxication

At approximately 2230 hours on 12/22/17 Sgt. Jim Bush was dispatched to 3815 Highway 278 W. in reference to a suspicious person. Dispatch advised that the subject was attempting to get into the caller’s house. Hope Police Officers Justin Dean and Scott Hurd were requested to assist.

Upon Sgt. Bush’s arrival Officer Dean had already detained the subject later identified as Jeffery Knorr. Jeffery stated that he was walking from a friend’s house and needed a ride so he knocked on the door and was trying to get them to let him in so he could use their phone. Jeffery was unable to tell me where his friend’s house was or who they were. He was fidgeting as we were speaking with him. Officer Dean asked him when the last time he used Methamphetamines was. He did not answer the question. Sgt. Bush asked him and he told Sgt. Bush that he has been on it off and on over the past few weeks. Sgt. Bush noticed that Jeffery’s eyes were blood shot and his pupils were dilated. Sgt. Bush then walked Jeffery back to his patrol unit and advised him that he was under arrest for Public Intoxication.

Sgt. Bush transported Jeffery to the Hempstead County Detention Center for Public Intoxication. I issued citation number 200590 to Jeffery for the same charge with a court date of January 29, 2018.

Baby Shot with B.B. Gun

On December 21, 2017 at approximately 1310 hours, Deputy Kyle Malone was contacted by dispatch regarding a one-year old boy being shot in the neck by his three-year-old brother with a BB gun.

Deputy Malone made contact with the mother who stated that she was getting ready for work this morning, the mother stated that her one-year old son and three-year-old son were in the living room playing. The mother stated that she heard a BB gun go off, and then heard her one-year old scream.

The mother stated that she went into the living room and realized that the younger son had been shot in the neck with the BB gun apparently by the older brother. The mother stated that she grabbed her children and rushed to Howard Memorial Hospital.

The mother stated that once she reached Howard Memorial they transported him to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. The mother told Deputy Malone that the BB nicked the one-year old’s carotid artery on the left side of his neck, but did not damage it. She stated that they are keeping the child at Children’s for observation at this time.

According to the mother the incident occurred at approximately at 5:30 am, however the Sheriff’s office was not notified until 1:10 P.M.


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