Jeffrey L. Schultz squeezed his ex-wife's throat with such force her face turned purple, and his body weight crushed the leg of a police officer who responded to the violent domestic incident at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha.
For his role in the Jan. 23 incident, in which three other police officers were also injured, the 48-year-old Richfield man was subsequently charged on Jan. 27 with 10 counts of various offenses that resulted in injuries to multiple people inside and outside his first-floor hotel room.
Seven of the charges are felonies, including first-degree reckless injury, two strangulation and suffocation counts, intimidating a victim with use or attempted force, intimidating a witness/threatening force, false imprisonment and resisting an officer, causing substantial bodily harm/soft tissue injury.
Schultz faces nearly 71 years in prison if convicted of all the charges.
An angry suspect
According to a criminal complaint, officers responded to a domestic disturbance incident just before 6 p.m. Jan. 23. While police were en route, the caller, who was the victim's young daughter, was "hysterical" and said someone was trying to choke her mother, the complaint said.
The victim, Schultz's ex-wife, later told police Schultz "choked her out" and struck her numerous times. She said she and Schultz had gotten into an argument about one of her children and then he had threatened to kill both her and her children. (Her three children were visibly shaken but unharmed, the complaint noted.)
After the victim told Schultz she and her kids were going to stay in another room because she was afraid for their safety, Schultz became upset and grabbed her by the throat.
She told police Schultz was squeezing so hard that she couldn't breathe, her eyes were tearing up and felt like she was going to pass out. Schultz also slammed her head into the wall and squeezed her neck again, she told police. She told an officer she believed she was going to die during the incident.
She added in the complaint Schultz grabbed her by the hair and told her she wasn't going to get out alive. The victim's 11-year-old daughter told police her mother's face turned purple while being strangled.
When officers arrived they could hear a woman in the room moaning and a man yelling. The complaint said the man sounded "extremely angry and hostile." Schultz was heard screaming obscenities and allegedly told police "come in and get me, I got something for you."
As an officer entered the room after the victim managed to open it slightly, the officer could see her lying on the floor wedged between the door and the wall of the room. The officer said the woman appeared to be barely conscious. An officer grabbed her arm and dragged her limp body out of the room.
Officer badly hurt
After getting Schultz in the hallway, an officer attempted to stabilize him with handcuffs on the ground. In their attempt to control him, police used a Taser, but the stun device's probes inadvertently fell across an officer's legs, causing him to fall to the ground.
Schultz, who the complaint notes weighs 550 pounds, then fell on an officer's left leg and pinned him to the ground. The officer, who felt "a strong popping sensation" in his left knee, said he could not feel or move his leg and had to be carried out by officers.
Four days after the incident, the complaint notes the officer still couldn't put any weight on his leg and was using crutches.
In total, Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said four officers were injured, but the three others suffered minor injuries and returned to work.
The victim, who told police Schultz has made threats against her life and her children's lives in the past, received medical attention for various injuries and continued to feel the effects of the strangulation days later, she said in the complaint. The complaint notes the woman was "extremely close" to having her neck snapped and dying due to a lack of oxygen and blood to her brain.
Recent criminal history
Waukesha police said Schultz had a number of valid warrants for his arrest, indicating to them to use caution due to violent tendencies and the possibility of him being armed.
According to online court records, Schultz has been in trouble with the law multiple times in the past year. A criminal complaint was filed on Jan. 8 in Washington County. An arrest warrant was issued for Schultz on charges of misdemeanor disorderly conduct and using a computer message to threaten/injury or harm.
In March 2015, Schultz was also charged with disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping in Washington County. Those charges were later dismissed.
A month earlier, he was charged with and later pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and battery. He was sentenced to two years of probation in May 2015.
Schultz's next hearing in Waukesha County is scheduled for Feb. 3. He is being held at the Waukesha County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Court Commissioner Laura Lau ordered Schultz to have no contact with the victim, her children or her residence.