Traverse City Record-Eagle

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January 21, 2013

Kalkaska officer's assault trial nears

KALKASKA — The village of Kalkaska's top cop continues on patrol as his misdemeanor assault trial looms.

Sgt. Glenn Artress, who also serves as acting police chief, goes to trial next week on a single count of aggravated assault. He spent about seven weeks on a combination of paid and unpaid leave after he was charged in August, Village Manager Penny Hill said.

Neither Artress nor his attorney, David Kipley, could be reached for comment.

Artress, 42, the nephew of former Kalkaska County Sheriff Bill Artress, lives in Rapid City and has worked for the village police department for about 20 years. Michigan State Police arrested him in August after he punched his neighbor in the face, a police report said.

The report said Artress and his next door neighbor Marvin Schellie, 52, have been "feuding" for years, and got in a confrontation on Aug. 13.

Artress' dog went onto Schellie's property, and Artress grew "very angry" when his neighbor yelled profanities at Artress' wife and appeared to kick the dog. Artress ran up and shoved and punched Schellie in the mouth, both Artress and the neighbor told a trooper.

Schellie denied kicking the dog, and video surveillance footage from a camera installed at his house shows he instead stomped on the ground near the dog.

Hill said Artress was placed back on duty after he was disciplined for the incident. The period of unpaid leave was part of that discipline, Hill said, but she wouldn't say how long that was.

Artress is one of two village police officers, and Hill contends local residents were glad to have him back in uniform.

"The only thing I've heard is, 'Thank goodness we have him back,'" she said.

She wouldn't say if anyone found it strange that he's on duty despite a pending criminal charge.

"I'm not going to comment on that one," she said.

He could face additional discipline if found guilty at trial, Hill said.

His trial starts Jan. 31 in Kalkaska County. Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney's office is handling the case after former Kalkaska County Prosecutor Kirk Metzger removed himself from the case.

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