Goshen News, Goshen, IN

January 29, 2014

LaGrange man faces animal cruelty charges

Goshen News

---- — A LaGrange man has been arrested on four charges of cruelty to animals and charges of failure to properly dispose of a dead animal after authorities discovered horses on his property that were allegedly starved.

David I. Schmucker, 40, 3940 W. U.S. 20, was arrested by the LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department Thursday.

According to the charging affidavit filed in LaGrange Superior Court Jan. 17, a veterinarian representing the Indiana State Board of Health found on Dec. 31 on Schmucker’s property a dead horse and several others that were suffering from starvation. He notified Schmucker to properly dispose of the horse in the state-required 24-hour period.

Police contend Schmucker was aware of the state requirement because he was convicted in 2007 on a charge of failure to dispose of a dead horse.

The affidavit said a neighbor notified the veterinarian on Jan. 3 that the dead horse had been removed.

On Jan. 8, according to the affidavit, the veterinarian found another dead horse on the property. On Jan. 10 the veterinarian returned and found that two horses and two ponies were underweight and suffering from starvation. Also, no water or feed was found for the animals and they were eating snow for hydration, according to the affidavit.

Sheriff Tom Martin obtained a court order for removal of the horses and seized them Jan. 16, according to Deputy Tyler Randol, who filed the affidavit.

ATV driver injured in crash

Police say a northern Indiana man suffered a broken neck when the all-terrain vehicle he was plowing snow with was struck by another vehicle.

Police say 59-year-old Herman Baldwin was wearing ear plugs and a heavy hat over his ears while driving the ATV in a rural area Sunday near Etna Green.

Indiana Conservation Officer Jerry Hoerdt says an oncoming driver saw the ATV pull into the road but wasn’t able to stop because of the slick roadway. The vehicle caught the ATV’s snowplow, spinning it around and ejecting Baldwin.

Hoerdt says Baldwin wasn’t wearing a helmet and was taken to Fort Wayne Lutheran Hospital with a broken neck. He was listed in serious condition Tuesday afternoon.

Jury clears officers in fatal shooting

A grand jury has cleared three Elkhart city police officers in the fatal shooting of man who they said tried to back the pickup truck he was driving into them.

The Elkhart County prosecutor’s office said the grand jury decided Monday against seeking any criminal charges against Ptl. Dan Mayer, Cpl. Jason Ray and Ptl. Jason Gruber

Police said the three officers shot 31-year-old Christopher Ryckeart of Elkhart after a 40-minute automobile chase on Nov. 10 that crossed the state line into Michigan for a time.

Police say the truck had been reported stolen and that Ryckeart was backing it into the path of officers trying to arrest him when they opened fire. The shooting took place in a residential area along Marion Street.

Crash reports

• A one-vehicle crash left two people injured northwest of Goshen Saturday.

The collision occurred at 2:20 p.m. on U.S. 33, north of Dushane Avenue. Elkhart County police said Tricia Matthews, 43, Elkhart, was driving southeast in a 2008 Dodge Avenger when another vehicle entered the same travel lane from a side street. Matthews was forced to change lanes. The Dodge slid on the snowy road surface across the northbound lanes and struck a utility pole head-on.

Matthews suffered head and knee pain as result of the crash, and a passenger, Shane Matthews, 21, Elkhart, suffered back pain. Both were transported to Elkhart General Hospital for treatment.

Police said Matthews was cited for driving too fast for road conditions.

Theft/burglary reports

• Ronnie Cloud, 55698 Willowbend Blvd., Bristol, reported a theft at his home to Elkhart County police. The theft took place between 8 and 10:30 a.m. Thursday. A Dish Network modem and two 12-gauge shotguns were taken.

• Janice Lantz, 2400 College Ave., told Goshen police Sunday that someone went to her residence and stole $22 from her purse.

• Laura Gonzalez, 1309 West Ave., told Goshen police Sunday that someone stole a pair of sunglasses and wedding rings from her vehicle while it was parked in her driveway.

• A Goshen resident told city police Sunday that he saw two people enter a vacant rental home at 517 Cottage Ave. The incident occurred around 2:13 p.m. Police found a male and female in the home. The property owner was contacted and declined to press charges.

• Mary King of Goshen told police someone stole a back pack out of her vehicle while it was parked at Goshen College Monday morning.

• Brenda LeCount of Goshen told Goshen police Monday that her cell phone was missing and possibly stolen.

• A phone scam was reported to Goshen police Monday. John Ride of Goshen told police he’d received phone calls from someone claiming to work for a lottery. The caller told Ride that a relative of his was the lottery winner. That relative had been dead for more than a decade, Ride told police.

• David Corbin, 103 Brookside Manor, Goshen, told Goshen police that prescription drugs and his Indiana unemployment card were stolen from his home.

• Thomas Young told Goshen police Monday that someone broke into his vehicle while it was in the parking lot at Meijer, 4522 Elkhart Road.

OWI arrests

Police recently arrested the following motorists on charges of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated:

• Scott Wilkins, 35, 701 Tamarack Drive, Wakarusa, was arrested by Elkhart County police after a crash around 1:30 a.m. Sunday at the intersection of C.R.s 40 and 21. Wilkins was incarcerated in the Elkhart County jail.

Rape reported

A representative with the Kalamazoo County, Mich., Department of Human Services told Elkhart County police Monday that she received a report of a juvenile who was raped in December 2007 at a Goshen-area home.

Traffic arrests

• Jose A. Flores, 31, 607 Colorado St., Goshen, was arrested by Goshen police after a crash at Eisenhower Drive South and Dierdorff Road Monday. The incident occurred around 11:47 a.m., according to the police report. Flores was taken into custody on a charge of driving while being a habitual traffic violator and incarcerated in the Elkhart County jail.

Rifle found

Ariel Yoder told Elkhart County police Saturday that she found a rifle in her home in the 66000 block of Ind. 15, Goshen. Yoder told police the rifle doesn’t belong to her, and she doesn’t know who owns it. The firearm was removed by police.