Chad Schmersal - Putnam Sentinel
Chad Schmersal

BROOKLAND, ARKANSAS — A former Ottoville resident who served as Leipsic Village Chief of Police was arrested in Brookland, Arkansas, early last week. Chad Schmersal, 43, was charged with multiple counts that include terroristic threatening, a Class D felony punishable by up to six years in prison per charge.

Schmersal, a former officer with the Jonesboro, Arkansas, Police Department currently employed as a maintenance worker in Craighead County, Arkansas, and a member of the Arkansas National Guard, was released on a $200,000 cash/surety bond, stipulations of which included the completion of a a mental screening/evaluation; a no-contact order that includes the victims, Brookland Schools, and the apartment complex where his ex-wife lives; and the forfeiture of all firearms. He must also wear an ankle monitor.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Detective Zachary Purrington with the Brookland Police Department, Schmersal told a friend on Monday, Feb. 26, “…that he was going to kill Brandon Lloyd, Jennifer Schmersal (Schmersal’s estranged wife), and then himself, that he was going to use a gun to do it, …that it was going to be bloody, and that Freddie Black (Schmersal’s friend) would be seeing him on the news later that day.”

In an interview with Brookland PD detectives, Schmersal’s ex-wife, Jennifer, informed law enforcement Schmersal had a history of “post-traumatic stress disorder, mental illness, and aggressively violent tendencies” that manifested, in part, as domestic violence resulting in her petitioning for divorce, a petition that was finalized the morning of the event.

Later that same day, the Brookland PD received a “frantic phone call” from Jennifer Schmersal requesting an officer at her residence. Over the line, detectives could hear what was described as “a male voice…screaming profanities, and what sounded like loud banging on a door,” as well as children “crying loudly.”

Arriving at the scene, officers with the Brookland PD found Schmersal attempting to gain entry to the apartment where his ex-wife and her children were living. According to the affidavit, after being ordered to show his hands, Schmersal, “turned towards the officers, and while turning put his right arm and hand behind his back, and raised his left hand to chest height…After a third command to show both hands, Chad Schmersal rapidly moved his right hand and arm from behind his back, and making a ‘gun’ gesture/shape with his hand, pointed the finger of this ‘hand gun’ at the officers.”

Recognizing that Schmersal was unarmed, the officers did not fire, but took Schmersal into custody, in the process of which they confiscated a .40 caliber Sig Sauer semi-automatic pistol and a subcompact Kel-Tec .380 caliber semi-automatic, both of which were loaded with hollow point ammunition with rounds in the chamber. Officers also retrieved an unloaded 12-gauge Remington shotgun and a crossbow from Schmersal’s truck, which was parked nearby.

Schmersal informed police officers of his PTSD, and stated he had a plan for suicide which included having his ex-wife watch, a plan, he said, that was interrupted by their arrival.

“Chad Schmersal then stated that ‘next time she will watch,’” the affidavit continued.

In addition to the three counts of 1st degree terroristic threatening, Schmersal was also charged with three counts of aggravated assault on a family or household member, also a Class D felony; two counts of carrying a weapon, a Class A misdemeanor; and one count of disorderly conduct/unreasonable or excessive behavior, a Class C misdemeanor.

Schmersal is scheduled to appear in Craighead County Circuit Court on Friday, March 30.