On June 21, 2022, at approximately 9:54 a.m., officers from the Missoula Police Department were called to report an assault near the entrance to McCormick Park. Six different witnesses called 911 to report the assault. Lydia Arnold, Police Public Information Officer, explains.
“Witnesses provided officers with details regarding what they witnessed, descriptions of clothing and the director of the trip those involved went to,” Arnold said. “Officers located the victim and immediately noted a head injury. A doctor was called to the scene to attend to the victim.
Court documents say the victim was sitting on the ground, crying hysterically near the east side of the baseball field. As they approached, officers could see that the victim’s forehead was extremely swollen above her left eye, as if she had been hit in the head with something.
“Officers have taken a statement,” Arnold said. “Based on sightings of injuries, witness statements, information provided by the victim, and the ability to review CCTV from different establishments, officers were able to ascertain who the suspect was and that several crimes had been committed.”
In the footage, officers clearly observed the suspect and victim walking together without incident, when suddenly the suspect lifted a bottle of Captain Morgan’s spiced rum he was carrying and hit the victim on the head. Video shows the victim crouched by a nearby fence, at which point the suspect grabbed the victim by the head and appeared to punch him in the face with his fists.
Video shows the suspect still has the bottle in his right hand at this point and shows the victim waving at oncoming traffic in an apparent attempt to get help. The video then shows the suspect swinging the bottle again at the victim’s head, hitting it on the left side of the face. The suspect then drops the bottle and walks away.
“Officers have located suspect William Scheaffer,” Arnold said. “Schaffer has been taken into custody. Probation and parole were involved and further contributed to the incident as Scheaffer is on felony probation. This case is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department’s Detective Division.
Scheaffer was very drunk and incoherent when officers attempted to speak to him. He was taken to hospital to be medically cleared, at which point he gave a breath sample of 0.254 BAC.
Detectives spoke with Scheaffer later the next day. Scheaffer identified the victim as his ex-wife. The victim noted that she and Scheaffer shared four children together.
Detectives asked Scheaffer if he had hit the victim on the head with a bottle, and Scheaffer replied that he could not recall whether or not he had. When told he was caught on video doing it, Scheaffer replied “well (expletive) I don’t know man” and noted, “it’s pretty stupid if I did that”.
Scheaffer is currently charged with felony assault with a weapon and assault of a partner or family member. He has been convicted at least twice for PFMA.
The information in this article was obtained from publicly available sources.
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