A 33-year-old Pequot Lakes man is accused of choking and assaulting a female victim and threatening to kill himself with a gun.
Aaron William Sheffield had his first appearance Friday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd where he was charged with two felonies of domestic assault by strangulation and endangering a child in a situation that could cause harm or death; gross misdemeanor of interrupting an emergency call; and three misdemeanor domestic assault counts.
Sheffield was seen before Judge Earl Maus, who set unconditional bond at $60,000 and $10,000 with conditions, which include not entering the victim's residence or not contacting the victim. He was released from custody Friday and was scheduled to be in court Wednesday.
According to the probable cause statement filed against Sheffield in court, Pequot Lakes Police Chief Eric Klang was dispatched at 9:56 a.m. July 20 to a Jenkins residence for a report from two Minnesota Power employees who witnessed a physical domestic between a man and female.
Upon arrival Klang was met by a visibly shaking and crying female, who was holding her hand around her neck. She stated that Sheffield, who is known to her, had choked her and was inside with a gun. She also stated he had held the gun up to his head.
Klang attempted to get the woman to come to his squad car, but she stated she was going to get a child out of the house. Klang moved to a position where he could hear what was going on, and the woman motioned for Klang to come inside the residence and stated Sheffield no longer had a gun.
Klang entered the house and asked Sheffield to show his hands, Sheffield did but then put them back down, the complaint stated. Klang asked for Sheffield to keep his hands up again and he then did comply. Klang approached Sheffield and observed he was holding a 10-year-old child, who was crying. Klang asked Sheffield where the gun was and he said he no longer had it and it was in the bedroom. Sheffield started using foul language at the victim who was crying uncontrollably on the floor. Klang asked her to go outside.
Klang asked Sheffield to let the child go outside while he spoke with the child, who said no. Klang asked Sheffield what had happened and he said that ".... women is the problem." Sheffield was constantly using foul language in front of the child when he was talking about the victim. Klang asked him to stop. Klang observed Sheffield was highly agitated and was extremely angry, the complaint stated. Klang quit talking to Sheffield and a Breezy Point sergeant arrived and stayed with Sheffield while Klang went outside and talked with the victim.
The victim stated she received a message from a family member about Sheffield who didn't show up to work. She began to call Sheffield asking what had happen to him, but he blocked her from calling. She met up with Sheffield and asked why he was not at work and he "blew up" and became enraged calling her all sorts of foul names in front of the child, the complaint stated. Sheffield then grabbed a handgun, pulled it out of the holster and said he was going to shoot himself, the complaint stated. The victim blocked the door to the exit and told Sheffield to calm down. He told her to get out of the way and pulled the gun up the side of his head and said if she didn't get out of the way he was going to blow his head off right here, the complaint stated.
The victim stated Sheffield was very upset and not rational and she did not want him to leave the house and hugged him. Sheffield then grabbed her around the neck and slammed her into the closet, the complaint stated. She grabbed a phone out of her pocket and threw it upstairs to have the child call 911, but the child did not make the call.
The victim stated Sheffield continued to call her foul names and then he went after her, throwing her across the room and onto the floor. Sheffield allegedly grabbed her around the neck and he began to strangle her to where she couldn't breathe, the complaint stated. Police then arrived.
Klang then went back inside and asked to speak with the child, who stated he did not know what happened. Klang asked if the child saw the defendant grab onto the victim and the child said no. The child stated he did not see Sheffield grab the victim, but he did see her fly across the room.
Klang made contact with the reporting party, who was working in the area for Minnesota Power about a block down the road. He stated he and his partner heard loud voices; heard a male say foul language and saw a female being grabbed around the neck and thrown down to the ground. The parties went into the house and could hear yelling and screaming and some "thumping."