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Roseau man accused of beating, choking woman in domestic violence case

A 21-year-old Roseau, Minn., man was taken into custody and charged with assault after a woman told police he punched her, beat her with a vacuum and broom handle and strangled her until she passed out, according to court documents.

A 21-year-old Roseau, Minn., man was taken into custody and charged with assault after a woman told police he punched her, beat her with a vacuum and broom handle and strangled her until she passed out, according to court documents.

Austin Michael Schell made his first court appearance Monday on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping, one count of terrorizing threats, three felony-level assault charges and two misdemeanor-level counts of domestic assault in Minnesota 9th District Court in Roseau.

Law enforcement officers responded to Westside Trailer Court in Roseau at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday for reports of a man who had assaulted his girlfriend.

Upon arriving on scene, police spoke briefly with the woman, whose face was bloody, bruised and swollen, according to the affidavit of probable cause, an investigative report filed with the courts. She was transported by ambulance to LifeCare Medical Center in Roseau, according to Roseau Police Department.

Members of the Special Response Team - which is made up of officers from Roseau County Sheriff's Office, Lake of the Woods County Sheriff's Office and Roseau Police Department - arrested Schell at his home, where he was sleeping, Roseau Police Chief Ward Anderson said in an interview.

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Officers used a flashbang, a device meant to disorient a person, when they entered the home, Anderson said.

Agents with Minnesota State Patrol and U.S. Border Patrol provided a perimeter to ensure Schell could not escape, Anderson said.

Schell was taken into custody without a fight.

Allegations

The woman later told police Schell accused her of cheating on him and started punching her in the early hours of Sunday, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

She reportedly told police he beat her with a vacuum and broom handle, punched her in the head and mouth - causing her to lose a tooth - and choked her into unconsciousness, the affidavit said.

When she tried to leave the house, the woman said, Schell prevented her from going and threatened to kill both of them if she reported anything to police, the affidavit said.

She told police Schell then had sex with her and that she only consented out of fear for her safety, the affidavit said.

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She was able to flee to her mother's house nearby once he fell asleep, court papers said.

During a search of the home, police found clothes and linens stained with blood, a tooth and weapons, according to the affidavit.

In questioning with police, Schell allegedly admitted to hitting the woman, but did not give any details, the affidavit said.

Anderson said Schell has no prior criminal history, and officers were never before called to that residence for reports of domestic violence.

Schell is scheduled to next appear in court at 10 a.m. Feb. 9.

Related Topics: ROSEAU
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