Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dontcha just love rednecks

A Greeley family who allegedly pounced on the former girlfriend of their eldest son during a fist-swinging, hair-pulling tussle was rounded up early Monday after a 10-hour standoff and marijuana investigation at the family home, according to Greeley police.

The alleged victim, Christina Vanderclip, had driven by the home of the man variously described as her common-law husband or former boyfriend, Travis Schneller.

She stopped to talk to Schneller when she saw him at the house, according to Sgt. Joe Tymkowych, spokesman for the Greeley Police Department.

According to police reports, the 24-year-old Schneller struck Vanderclip and pulled her hair. He was soon joined by his mother, Kimberly Schneller, 47, who allegedly jumped on Vanderclip's back and also joined in the hair-pulling, said Tymkowych.

At that point, Travis' younger brother, Michael Schneller, 18, and father, Robert Schneller, 47, joined the melee. Michael allegedly struck Vanderclip and Robert allegedly choked her. Robert also allegedly tried to use a type of stunning device — which emits a blue arc — on Vanderclip but was unsuccessful, according to police.

A Vanderclip friend, who had been watching from the car, helped rescue Vanderclip, and they drove away and called police.

It was then, said Tymkowych, that the standoff at the house in the 2400 block of Sixth Street, began.

The Schnellers "would not open the door," said Tymkowych. "We knew they were in there."

At that point, Greeley police had to find a Weld County District judge to sign an arrest warrant. Using the warrant, police entered the home at 4 a.m. Monday — six hours after the incident began — and arrested the Schneller family.

While in the home, officers spotted a marijuana plant and related paraphernalia, said Tymkowych. They had to get a second warrant so they could seize the plant and paraphernalia.

Authorities completed their investigation at the home about 8 a.m. Monday, said Tymkowych.

Tymkowych said that Travis, Kimberly, Robert and Michael Schneller were all arrested for investigation of third-degree assault. Travis also was arrested for investigation of domestic violence.

"They had had an ongoing intimate relationship," said the police spokesman explaining the domestic-violence allegation. "She had lived at the residence with him."

Robert, the father, also was arrested for investigation of the attempted use of a stun device.

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