Earl E. Smith III, 19, Waupaca, was charged with felony strangulation and disorderly conduct as acts of domestic abuse.
Shortly before noon Tuesday, May 19, Waupaca Police Officer Wesely Zube was called out to an apartment on East Union Street. A woman had called 911 and said Smith had been choking her. Dispatch reported hearing a man yelling in the background.
When Zube began climbing the stairwell in the apartment building, he could hear yelling, which stopped when he arrived at the top of the stairs.
Zube knocked loudly on the door and announced, “Police,” but nobody responded and the apartment was silent. Zube continued to knock loudly and attempted to contact a supervisor for permission to breach.
After about 45 seconds, Zube heard a woman say, “I’m coming.” She opened the door and Zube entered the apartment.
According to the criminal complaint, Zube found Smith standing in the living room, flailing his arms and yelling that he did not want to go to jail and that his mother was lying to the police.
Officer Bret Rodenz, who had arrived at the scene to assist, went into the kitchen with the mother while Zube tried to calm Smith by having him sit down in the living room.
When Zube stepped into the kitchen to speak with Rodenz, Smith reportedly stood up, walked into the kitchen and began yelling again. Zube escorted Smith back to the living room chair.
The mother told police that Smith called her names, grabbed her by the throat with one hand and made it difficult for her to breath. She had a red mark on her neck consistent with a thumb print, police say.
Smith told Zube he did not mean to choke his mother.
Smith’s 67-year-old father told police Smith became agitated after being asked to take a shower. He said he had to use his cane to push Smith back during their argument.
He also said Smith was not taking his medications and had terrible mood swings, the complaint says.
Smith was convicted of illegal possession of prescription drugs with intent to deliver in Monroe County in January and placed on two years probation.