Several charges have been filed against a 37-year-old male individual, after two Lafayette Police Department officers were assaulted when they responded to a domestic situation Monday, November 28th.Dispatch radioed Lt. Kevin Woodard and Patrolman ReJena Parker around 5:00 p.m., sending them to a residence on Baker Drive, where a domestic dispute was allegedly in progress, with unknown circumstances. Upon arriving at the home of Emily Thomas in Colter’s Trailer Park, they found her crying. She informed the officers that her son, who was involved in the situation, had left the premises. After further investigation they found her boyfriend, Richard William Schumacher, hiding in a back room closet.
“There had been some sort of altercation between her son and boyfriend, when a third party over heard the loud argument and called the Lafayette Police Department,” stated Lt. Woodard. “When we found him, he was ordered to come out of the closet three different times. But once the subject did come out he was belligerent, and after telling him to get on the ground several times, I had to put him on the ground.”
“He began to wrestle and resist and he wouldn’t put his hands behind his back,” added Woodard. “I was able to force one arm behind his back and I told him if he didn’t stop fighting, I was going to spray him. At that time, he swung and hit me in the face, breaking my glasses, and then he hit Officer Parker in the nose. I finally sprayed him and got him in cuffs and we got him outside.”
The subject began to fight again when Woodard was patting him down, and the officer gave him a knee strike to the mid section, while forcing him to the ground to control him. “I then ask him who he was,” said Woodard, “and he said his name was Scott Spurgeon. At this point we transported him to the Macon County Jail, where we were informed that he was Richard Schumacher, and he had probation warrants against him.”
Schumacher was booked into the justice center and charged by Woodard and Parker with two counts of assault, criminal impersonation, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. The subject wanted to go the Emergency Room to have his side checked out, where he was evaluated by medical personnel. No bruising or blunt trauma was observed, and he was also x-rayed. He was cleared by the doctors, and returned to jail.
“We face this kind of situation all the time,” said Woodard, “and especially during the holiday season. The problem facing law enforcement, is that victims of domestic situations are scared to testify in court. We don’t want to see anybody get killed, and these people need to help us get these violators off the street. We are here to protect anybody in any situation, and we need them to follow through, to make sure this doesn’t happen to them again.”
In light of his officers recently being assaulted, Chief Amalfitano spoke to the Macon County Chronicle regarding this incident. “Each and every law enforcement officer you see has to go through a number of stops before they can hit the streets, consisting of interviews, background checks, physicals, and psychology testing that takes hours. They have to leave their families and go to basic training, which is similar to military training. They come back home and face more intense training, all for just a little bit above the minimum wage.”
“We are here to uphold the law,” the chief continued, “and even though we may not agree with a lot of it, we have to enforce it. We all want to go home safely at night after a hard days work, yet my officers are scrutinized constantly. Officers don’t want to intentionally harm anyone, but they are trained peace keepers, and when they take somebody into custody, they do it with the utmost respect. And even though it may be a bad situation, they must do their job.”
“A lot of times the officers are faced with suspects fighting back, and I have told my team that they don’t have to take this. They will do all they can within their means of training to protect themselves and innocent by standers. We are human beings just like everybody else and you treat us with respect and we will treat you with respect. These officers work long hours to protect the citizens of Lafayette and all I ask is that everyone treat them with common courtesy.”