CLEARFIELD – A Clearfield man will spend time in state prison for fighting with police after repeatedly calling 911 from a Lawrence Township motel.
Aaron Anthony Schmitt, 33, pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor resisting arrest during sentencing court Monday in relation to an incident May 6.
According to the affidavit, police were called to the motel after receiving a report of a smoke alarm. The call was made by Schmitt, who wasn’t sure where the alarm was coming from. He called a second time telling county control his room was filling up with water.
A clerk at the motel said there was no smoke or flames.
When police arrived, water was running down the hallway. They entered the room, which was flooded with water coming from sprinklers in the bathroom.
The water was spreading into other rooms and causing damage.
Officers spoke with Schmitt, who was in the motel’s office. He stated that he hadn’t called for their help and county control kept calling him.
He also ignored their requests for him to remove a cat that was cowering on his bed in his room, saying his cat carrier was in his car and it had too much stuff in it.
Eventually an officer retrieved the cat as well as Schmitt’s keys, which he returned to him in the office as they told him again to put the cat in his car.
Instead, Schmitt slammed the door in the officer’s face. As the officers tried to open the door, he pushed against it to keep them out.
Once the door was opened, Schmitt took an aggressive stance as he threw the cat down. He “squared up” with the officer and tried to grab him.
Two officers grabbed Schmitt and pushed him down onto the front desk.
While fighting with the officers, Schmitt kept calling for “Suzie,” telling her to call 911 because they weren’t the police.
One of the officers was injured as he was pushed into a breaker box door.
Even when he was on his hands and knees, Schmitt continued to resist them and was ordered to stop.
Schmitt’s actions led to an officer, unholstering his taser, which he pressed against Schmitt’s thigh and warned him if he didn’t stop fighting, he would be tased. At this point, he stopped resisting and laid on his stomach until they placed him in handcuffs.
As he was walked to the door, Schmitt began screaming again and resisting, trying to pull away. He put his leg up against the door in an attempt to keep the officers from taking him through the doorway but was eventually placed in a police car.
An officer returned to the room where he found a piece of burnt paper in the bathroom on a light above the sink directly beside the sprinkler. Another piece of burnt paper was retrieved from the water.
When asked about the paper, Schmitt denied lighting it. Schmitt was then transported to the jail.
While he was in a holding cell, he was seen attempting to hang himself with his T-shirt, which police stopped.
Clearfield County Control told investigators that Schmitt called 911 five times earlier that day. During one of these calls, he said he wanted to kill himself.
Officers responded to that call prior to the sprinkler incident and Schmitt said he didn’t want to kill himself and didn’t have an explanation on why he called them.
As he was fighting with police, he called to tell county control he didn’t call for police and then later called to ask for different officers to respond to the motel.
Judge Paul Cherry sentenced Schmitt to five months to three years in state prison.
In a second case, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor institutional vandalism for damaging property at the county jail.
For this, he received an additional period of four months to two years incarceration, giving him a total of nine months to five years in state prison. He must pay over $20,000 in restitution.