A 77-year-old Virginia man, Alan Richard Schmitt, has been arrested for strangling his much-younger online date on their first face-to-face meeting.
Schmitt and his 23-year-old date met on the dating website Plenty of Fish and began chatting. Then they had their first real-life meeting but it went awry. Schmitt was arrested at the home of his much younger date in Newport Newson on Tuesday night after she told police that he had attacked her. Newport Newson Police arrived at the woman’s home at around 10 p.m. after she called in an alleged assault.
According to a criminal complaint, when Schmitt tuned up at her door, the woman discovered that he was older than he purported to be online. She said she’d turned him down because of that but he’d persuaded her to accompany him to a mall. She agreed to go to the mall with him but before that she told him she wasn’t interested in dating, but could be friends with him. At the mall, he bought her $400 of clothes before returning her to her home.
Unfortunately, she said when they got to her home, he then demanded she return all of the items he bought, including the shirt that she was wearing. According to the criminal complaint, she told him he could not have the shirt back, so he grabbed her around the neck at that point then threw her to the ground. He then got on top of her and proceeded to choke her, causing her to struggle to breathe. The woman also told police that her necklaces were torn off her during the struggle.
Officer Jeffrey Cumming confirmed this by writing in the complaint: “I observed her necklaces were in pieces, and there were small bleeding scratches around her neck.”
Telling hs side of the story, Schmitt said that when he went to get the clothes back, they started to argue. At that point, he said, she “stepped in front of him and pushed him in his face” and “he lost his balance and reached out, grabbing (her) by the neck. Schmitt was unsure as to how she ended up on the ground as well, according to his statement.
He has been charged with felony strangling of another causing wounds or injury and is scheduled to return to court on November 14.