On June 21, 2022, at approximately 9:54 am, Missoula Police Department officers were called to a report of an assault near the entrance to McCormick Park. Six different witnesses called 911 to report the assault. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.

“Witnesses provided details to officers regarding what they had witnessed, clothing descriptions, and the director of travel the individuals involved went,” Arnold said. “Officers located the victim and immediately observed an injury to their head. Medical was requested to the scene to tend to the victim.”

Court documents indicate the victim was sitting on the ground hysterically crying near the east side of the baseball field. As they approached, officers could see that the victim’s forehead was extremely swollen above her left eye as if she had been struck in the head with something.

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“Officers collected a statement,” Arnold said. “Based on injury observations, witness statements, pieces of information provided from the victim, and being able to review video surveillance from different establishments, officers were able to learn who the suspect male was and that several crimes had been committed.”

On the footage, officers clearly observed the suspect and the victim walking together without incident, when suddenly the suspect raised a bottle of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum he was carrying and struck the victim in the head. The video shows the victim crouching down by a nearby fence, at which point the suspect grabbed the victim by the head and appeared to be hitting her in the face with his fists.

The video shows the suspect still has the bottle in his right hand at this point and shows the victim waving at oncoming traffic in an apparent attempt to get help. The video then shows the suspect swinging the bottle at the victim’s head again, striking her on the left side of the face. The suspect then drops the bottle and walks away.

“Officers located suspect William Scheaffer,” Arnold said. “Scheaffer was taken into custody. Probation and parole became involved and further assisted with the incident since Scheaffer is on felony probation. This case is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department Detective Division.”

Scheaffer was heavily intoxicated and incoherent when officers tried to speak with him. He was transported to the hospital to be medically cleared, at which point he gave a breath test sample of 0.254 BAC.

Detectives spoke with Scheaffer later the following day. Scheaffer identified the victim as his ex-wife. The victim noted that she and Scheaffer share four children together.

Detectives asked Scheaffer if he struck the victim in the head with a bottle, and Scheaffer responded that he could not remember if he’d done so or not. When told he was captured on video doing so, Scheaffer responded “well (expletive) I don’t know man” and noted, “that’s pretty dumb if I did that”.

Scheaffer is currently being charged with felony assault with a weapon and felony partner or family member assault. He has been convicted on at least two prior occasions of PFMA.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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