Traverse City Record-Eagle

Region

April 4, 2013

Kalkaska officer sentenced for assault

KALKASKA — A village of Kalkaska police officer will spend five days in jail and four months on probation for punching his neighbor in the face.

Glenn Artress, of Rapid City, was sentenced this week in district court for a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery, according to court records. He initially faced a more serious charge of aggravated assault.

Artress was the Village of Kalkaska’s acting police chief when an August argument with his neighbor, Marvin Schellie, turned physical after Artress’ dog ran on the man’s property. Artress told police he became angry when Schellie yelled profanities at Artress’ wife and appeared to kick the dog.

He ran up, shoved Schellie and punched him in the mouth, video footage from a surveillance camera at Schellie’s home showed.

Schellie’s wife told the Record-Eagle in January they’ve dealt with Artress’ aggressive behavior for years.

Artress’ attorney did not return calls for comment, and Artress could not be reached Thursday.

He was placed on unpaid suspension following the incident. Village officials said he likely will not face further discipline.

Village President Jeff Sieting, prior to Artress’ court appearance, said unless his sentence changed his ability to carry a firearm or made him unavailable for work for a significant period of time, he will return to his job.

Village Manager Penny Hill said officials referred to a police policy and procedure manual and union contract guidelines in determining if Artress would face additional discipline.

She declined to elaborate on specifically what factors went into the decision or the duration of Artress’ unpaid suspension because it’s part of a confidential personnel record.

Sieting said such a decision regarding Artress, who has worked for the village for more than 20 years as a patrol officer and sergeant, is “not clear cut.”

“You’ve got to take into consideration the fact he’s served the village for so many years,” Sieting said. “He’s well-liked. He knows the area. And like any other community, it’s hard to bring a police officer in and say, ‘OK, patrol our community.’”

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