by: Crystal Bonvillian, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A 77-year-old Virginia man is accused of strangling a 23-year-old woman he met on a dating website, according to police.
Alan Richard Schmitt, of Colonial Beach, is charged in Newport News with felony strangulation, according to WTKR in Norfolk. He was booked into the Newport News city jail.
A warrant and affidavit in the case, obtained by WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, indicates that a police officer was called to the woman’s home on Tuesday, Oct. 24, where he found her crying and upset. She told the officer that Schmitt, who she met online, had thrown her down on the ground and choked her.
The woman said that she told Schmitt she wasn’t romantically interested in him, but that they could remain friends, the affidavit read. Schmitt agreed, and took the woman shopping at a local mall.
After buying her $400 worth of clothes, Schmitt went back to the woman’s house and, at some point, demanded the clothing back, including the shirt she was wearing, the affidavit read. When the woman said he could not have the shirt back, Schmitt grew angry and grabbed her around the neck, according to the affidavit.
“(The woman) advised he then threw her to the ground forcefully and got on top of her,” the affidavit read. “Mr. Schmitt then proceeded to choke her, causing (her) to struggle to breathe.”
The woman told the officer that her necklaces were torn off in the struggle. The officer wrote in the affidavit that he saw her necklaces in pieces and bleeding scratches around her neck.
Schmitt denied the woman’s claims, telling the officer that the woman used him to get the clothing, then pushed him in the face when he went to her home to retrieve the items. He claimed that he lost his balance and grabbed the woman by the neck to stop himself from falling.
Witnesses across the street disputed Schmitt’s claims, telling the officer that they saw him throw their neighbor down and get on top of her, the affidavit read.
Schmitt had no visible signs of injury, the officer wrote. He was arrested at the scene.
Newport News, located on the James River near the Virginia coast, is about 100 miles south of Schmitt’s home in Colonial Beach. The drive between the two locations takes about two hours.