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BROOKLAND, Ark. – A maintenance supervisor for Craighead County who is also a former Jonesboro police officer was arrested Monday on allegations he threatened to kill his wife and then himself. He was taken into custody with two loaded guns on him outside of his wife’s apartment, the probable cause affidavit said.
Chad Schmersal, 43, of Jonesboro, is facing six felonies and two misdemeanors after the wild incident reported on Monday. Three are felony terroristic threatening counts, three are felony aggravated assault on a family or household member counts and the two misdemeanors are for disorderly conduct and a weapons charge.
Schmersal, a combat veteran, is alleged to have made threats Monday, Feb. 26, to kill his wife, another individual and then himself at the Whitten Creek Apartments, the probable cause affidavit said. After an interview with detectives, his wife said he had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and she detailed a history of domestic abuse. She said he had grown increasingly violent recently. At the time, authorities did not know where the suspect was. They found him around 5:45 PM when his wife called police. The dispatcher could hear him screaming profanities and banging on the door – along with children crying.
Then, abruptly, the phone call was terminated by the caller.
Police arrived and recognized the former law enforcement officer. With guns drawn, officers demanded Schmersal show his hands. He ignored requests three times. Then, the affidavit says he made a gun-shape with his hand and pulled his hand out quickly from behind his back. The officers did not fire and took Schmersal into custody, locating two loaded pistols on him. Each gun had a round in the chamber, loaded with hollow-point ammunition. After his arrest, a witness statement alleged Schmersal had made comments about shooting the officers responding.
The Jonesboro Sun reported Schmersal had been released from Craighead County jail on a $200,000 cash or surety bond. As a condition of his release, he must surrender all firearms and wear an ankle bracelet tracker. He is also ordered to have no contact with the victims, Brookland schools, and Whitten Creek Apartments.
March 30 is his next court date.
Update: 9:15 AM, 3/1/2018: Schmersal was previously the police chief of the Leipsic Police Department in Leipsic, Ohio, before moving to Northeast Arkansas. This was confirmed by The Putnam County Sentinel Editor Steven Coburn-Griffis, who spoke to his contacts in city hall.