Felony assault? Car-wielding property owner arrested

news-louis-schultz-arrestLouis Schultz is arrested for attempted assault by car.

A citizen icon of the property rights and environmental movements spent the night behind bars, charged by Charlottesville Police with a felony, but according to a witness to the arrest, Louis Schultz was simply staging a peaceful defense of his own private property.

"It was kind of like a low-grade Tiannamen Square," says Rob Schilling, host of WINA's Schilling Show. "Louis had the nose of the car up to the bulldozer, blade-to-blade with the bulldozer. It was eerily reminiscent of 1989."

That proximity, however, say police, is what cost Schultz his freedom.

According to Charlottesville Police Lieutenant Gary Pleasants, Charlottesville Public Works employees under orders to perform sewer pipe repairs April 29 claim that Schultz drove his car onto a narrow lane in the Woolen Mills neighborhood and pulled up close, "almost striking" one worker with his bumper. When Shultz allegedly "almost struck" a second worker, the bucket on the heavy equipment was put down to protect the workers.

The city workers called police; Schultz called Rob Schilling, who videotaped his seemingly peaceful arrest.

Louis Schultz has been arrested before on the portion of Steephill Street that the deed to his property says he owns. Previously, the misdemeanor charges have been dismissed. This time, however, he was ordered held overnight without bond. And his car has been towed.

In the past, Schultz has been cited by city officials for violating rules on "weeds." However, he earned a measure of vindication on that matter when the city, in 2006, redrafted its ordinances to recognize the importance of "riparian buffers."

Schultz says he originally was charged with two felony counts, according to his wife and Schilling, whom he called from jail. Court officials now say the charge is one count of attempted malicious wounding.

Schultz was held overnight behind bars because, says Pleasants, "The magistrate asked what he'd do if he let him go, and [Schultz] said he'd go back and protect his property."

That became a condition of his bond at a 10am Friday, April 30, hearing in Charlottesville General District Court, in which Schultz appeared on video from the jail.

"If you're released on bond and City of Charlottesville workers need to come on your property, are you prepared to remain away from them and not physically interfere?" asked Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman. After clarifying that he could take photographs, Schultz agreed.

Judge Bob Downer set bond at $5,000 and released Schultz on his own recognizance, with supervision. He ordered Schultz not to interfere with the activities of city employees in the 300-block of Steephill and the 1800-block of Chesapeake, and to stay away from the city's public works facilities on 4th Street.

City workers may have no reason to enter Schultz's property because they finished the sewer line repair at 12:20pm April 29, according to City Attorney Craig Brown.

An extensive email correspondence between Schultz and Brown details the confusion over Steephill in the 1887 subdivision plat. In 2007, Schultz complained that the city had illegally seized his property and Brown told the Hook he didn't know whether Steephill was public or private property.

Murky records play a part in the latest clash over the mud-clogged sanitary sewer line. "We have a prescriptive easement," says Brown, because the line has been in use for more than 10 years. "My guess is that [water, sewer and gas lines] went in there when the city annexed Woolen Mills in 1963."

"That seems unlikely to me considering that fact that you also stated that you don't know who installed the sewer line," writes Schultz in an April 20 email to Brown.

Citing previous damage to his property by city workers, Schultz asked that a qualified engineer write a proposal for the repairs and that the city post a bond. City engineer Lauren Hildebrand met with Schultz the day before the repair work was scheduled, and so did Brown, says the city attorney.

"We provided more level of data than usual," says Brown. "I told him I didn't think a bond on completion of the work was what he wanted. I said we had liability insurance."

Now Schultz is the one faced with posting bond. His next appearance in court is June 10 for a preliminary hearing.

Updated 12:25pm with results from bond hearing and clarification on the number of charges.

Read more on: louis schultz


So RS jumps a few neighborhoods with his camera to film an impromtu citizen experience. He was there for the entire episode but decides just to show the arrest. Why would that be? Just like his show, talk only about what supports your case and leave the rest for the cutting room floor. Police vehicles have camera's too so perhaps we could do some comparisons. Why does the Hook play up to the needs of Mr. Schilling? Still trying to figure that out....

Looks like a lot of comments have been deleted. Why can't you people behave yourselves? :)

Yeah, Rob, a nitwit driving his car up to some guys working on sewer to intimidate them is just like a student facing down a tank in Tianamen Square.
Wonder how he knew to have your number handy so you could come over and video him?

While "angel eyes" made it clear that she/he was only kidding, this is indeed a major problem with tasers already. They ARE used as an attitude adjustment tool far too often. They are also used far too often when they shouldn't be. There is a risk of death associated with a taser. It should be used as a non-lethal tool when a deadly tool could have been used, not when a handcuffed drunk is fleeing from the cop shoppe, as we saw in our own county recently as a matter of fact! The cop shoppe had to change policy so the rookies could further understand the proper time and place to actualy use a taser.

As the joke was told
obama, pelosi and reid are in a boat, the boat springs a leak, who will be saved.

The American people.

Tazers should be banned. They are neither safe nor critically valuable unless of course, you want to enable bad cops. They are far more dangerous than the corporatist manufacturer wants to pretend and folks like Angel Eyes are part of the Sheeple who thinks it's funny until it affects them personally.

Some people sure are gullible. Looks like even Schilling was snookered. Let's talk about facts instead of fantasy.

Schultz is called a Citizen Icon by the reporter? No way. The work had to be done immediately so it wouldn't cause a sewage back-up. Mr Schultz had several weeks notice that the work needed to be done. He didn't care about a potential backup into nearby houses and the people living there have every right to be mad at him.

Schultz's car wasn't "creeping" and the workers had serious reason to think they were in danger. He refused to follow police officer requests to leave his car because he was waiting for Schilling to arrive and start filming him first. Sure he acted meek while the cameras were rolling and its too bad some people fell for it. This was nothing but a publicity stunt by a bitter guy with too much time on his hands. Unfortunately it was at the expense of city workers who were just doing a very necessary job.

A complaint that might have been valid has become a joke. Schultz is a good example of someone who should be ignored at all costs, unless he's aiming a car at you.

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WOW! I can't beleive my comments were deleted. I have always supported the Hook and this is the first time I've posted. I have to tell you that I'm extremely disappointed since my comments contained no expletives and only an opinion of what I felt has taken place. Whether you remove my comments or not, the fact remains, Mr. Schultz has gone too far this time and hopefully justice will be served.

The Hook deletes posts it doesn't like. What a provincial, myopic little rag it is...so effing middle class and boring. So Charlottesville.

sounds to me like he's raising a maximum stink to achieve maximum payout. No doubt his sacred property would be a little
less sacred were the city to pay him some money for an easement. Clearly that's what he's gumming up the works for.

Rob Schilling, as usual, appears to be seeking attention. The more he gets it, the more he'll seek it. His appearance on fox and friends was roundly mocked by normal people, but he does well to garner this kind of press.

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I am not supporting or criticizing Schultz's action since I was not there to see it for myself but it sounds like a stretch to me to charge him with a felony for attempted vehicular assault when according to the above report he apparently crept up to the workers with his car. Maybe he was parking on his own property. Were the workers on a platted sewer drainage easement? Obviously, the powers to be have it in for him and his strong feelings of individual rights. It is easy to see on this forum who voted for Obama/socialism.

It has been my experience that city, county, and public utility employees/Dominion will come onto your property unannounced without a clue as to where their easements are without notifying the property owners. This is trespassing and an invasion of one's privacy. I don't think the founding father's had this in mind when they drafted the bill of rights. Try to go into a do not enter zone as a citizen and see what happens.

BTW, if anyone's life was in danger, I'm sure the police would have drawn their guns. The idea was to remove Mr. Schultz until public works could complete its mission whether it cost Mr. Schultz time in jail or not. Shame on you City Manager Jones. And shame on you Council for not demanding an explanation of the city's position on the land in question. It's your job to know and have it explained to the public.

quote: "... if anyone’s life was in danger, I’m sure the police would have drawn their guns. The idea was to remove Mr. Schultz until public works could complete its mission whether it cost Mr. Schultz time in jail or not."

Bingo! We have a winner again!

The same tactic was used by the cop shoppe when they wanted the fingerprints of a local juvenile. The game plan was to have all the juveniles in the neighborhood submit fingerprints to prove their innocence in a case of mischief and arson. Well, at least until one father objected. So they dug an old warrant out of the file cabinet, arrested the father and hauled him off to jail. The cop shoppe then unlawfully took the juvenile's fingerprints without any further interference from the father.

The laws are misused and abused so often that it's absolutely pathetic!

The story has been updated following Louis Schultz's bond hearing today.
-- Lisa Provence

Sounds like this Schultz cat is a fellow with an axe to grind and enjoys provocation. Alleyways and utility easements (even those not explicitly recorded at the courthouse, but self evident in the case of sewer lines) are sort of open and anyone who wants to put on an act, like this man did, is just looking for attention. I'm kidding here, but maybe a touch of the Taser would have been in order, sort of as an attitude adjustment. The city public works guys are hardly forces of oppression.

The ad-hominem aspect of some of the flame fest that goes on here is probably a function of many commenters being callow youths.

It seems there are several public works employees commenting on this story. Mr. Schultz was houding by the Overrun O'Connell regime and I guess it will continue under the new Jones rule. The question about that alley should be resolved but we have such bad governing here in the city, just a pack of bullies. Why is it, if my sewer line backed up, the city would come in a fix it after a period of time and then bill me for it (I own the property) but will not charge Mr. Schultz for it (maybe he doesn't own it but the city wants him to maintain it for free). Obviously those of you who do not have any private property do not understand the centuries old issues surrounding private property (many I'm sure live off the state) and your opinions of the matter count for nothing in my book. And Mr. Schilling said on his radio show that Mr. Schultz gave him the heads up and I'm glad he did. He needs all the help he can get.

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I agree with Honus, not quite Tianamen. Not even *&%#ing close!

The founding father's are so 1700's

Charlottesville is not the only private property abuser.
Greene county has been known to allow surveying and reassignment of property to the wrong owner. I once found unannounced survey stakes on my property and, when I inquired, found that .7 acres of my property was wrongly mapped as belonging to someone else. Once showed them my deed & mentioned getting an attorney, the county quickly corrected their BIG MISTAKE. We must always watch local government and surveyors for incompetancy.

You Betcha - The minute you identify yourself as a birther you remove yourself from the equation of rational discussion and all is suspect. I guess that makes the Bush administration a bunch of liberal socialists, just the ones who happily voted for.

When the Tea Baggers were hippies I am sure you were screaming to throw them all in jail.

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Guess that's my cue to add my two cents worth.

This area, with few exceptions, has had some of the best General District and Circuit Court judges in the State of Virginia. And Judge Robert Downer is among them.

I don't know why every thread here has to evolve into a mud slinging and namecalling contest. It would be real nice if some of you learned how to behave yourselves online.

Love it or leave it Tea-raider.

Yikes! There's a lot of vitriol here! I'm an elderly fiscal conservative, white male paying taxes in Albemarle's Rio District now for 24 years. I actually know Mr. Schultz from many years ago when he used to work out in the country for one of my neighbors. I'm sure he wouldn't remember me, but I always found him to be a completely lucid, peaceful, well-educated, hard-working guy. Can he perhaps be defined as eccentric? I would probably agree, but this is a country built on individuality and property rights and freedom of expression. It seems, from the few facts out there so far on this incident, that Louis was just trying to be left alone. I appreciated the information about the day's previous meeting between Louis and Public Works about the need for the project, but was the alleged health hazard so dire that it couldn't have waited a few days for some additional talks or legal work to confirm that this job HAD to be done YESTERDAY at 7 a.m? I'm eager to hear from the court record whether or not Louis actually endangered workers' lives. I hope not. That would be unfortunate and requires a consequence, if proved true. On the other hand, government seems to operate more and more heavy-handedly with those in our wonderfully free and open society who just want to be left alone within the law. As for criticisms of Mr. Schilling's reporting on this incident, I don't care if he was pre-notified or not. These are the kinds of events between citizens and their governments that need real-time and follow-up coverage to keep all sides honest. Thanks to The Hook for doing its part in covering this valid community news story, regardless of where Mr. Schultz CHOOSES to live.

this dude needs a house in the country.

And the long haired crusader comes running through the fields, armed with his video camera, and happens to capture it all. This was cooked up, a premeditated stunt of the Schultz/Schilling @#$% show.

Good point county farmer, excpet for you're wrong. Public works staff met with Mr. Schultz the previous afternoon to explain in detail exactly what was to be done and why it was necessary from a public health perspective (wihtout the repairs untreated sewage contaminates the ground, the stream very near by, and the rivanna river not far downstream of Mr. Schultz's propety). PW staff met with Mr. Schultz because of his track record of being anti-city-everything. And lo and behold, he makes an attempt on a PW employee's life. For doing his job. Throw away the key.

Its never been clear what he was objecting to. If he is a strong environmentalist, as has been claimed, he would have wanted the sewage that was seeping out into the ground and the water cleaned as rapidly as possible. Would he act the same way if his house caught on fire while he was away and the Fire Department came when a neighbor called 911 and put it out although he had not given them permission?
Rob Schilling sounds like he will do anything to get some media attention.

Having read all the above-comments, I think many of you are unfairly maligning Louis Schultz simply for any association with former City Councilor and conservative radio show host, Rob Schilling. If you have a political beef with Schilling, take it up with him.

Politics aside, every tax-paying property owner here would do everything necessary to maintain and protect our individual investment in their land. When the City Attorney cannot even determine if the street is public or private property, wouldn't some investigation be warranted prior to advancement on, or disturbance of private property? How urgent was the sewer repair if it could have waited a day (or longer) prior to it's initial notice?

This has been going on since 2007 and beyond. Why hasn't the City and City Attorney cleared up the discrepancies and inconsistencies in it own records before an emergency sewer repair was needed?

Well, typos... has=he, It=I.

The moderator is a liberal

Caesonia - The published short form birth certificate from Hawaii was regularly issued at that time to grant citizenship on behalf of adoptive parent or guardian in a discrete manner ( I have such a birth certificate from my home state and my foreign birth records are sealed). The long form with doctor's signature has not been presented, and then there is the issue of adopting Indonesian citizenship as a child (may constitute renouncing U.S. citizenship). Its going to get hotter, a few different states Attorneys General are weighing in on this.

They aint heavy, they're my brothers.

The real crime here is that they charged him with a felony and then walked it back to a misdemeanor... this is because the COMMENWEALTH ATTORNYS are paid ON COMMISSION. They get no state funding for misdemaenaors but get paid for every felony whether it gets rolled back or not.

That is the story here.

everyone hates a barking dog until he nittes a robber.

This guy seems a little wacky but without a few like him around none of us would have rights...

Think of what would have happend 500 years ago in africa if someone had stood up for the blacks....

mac the cheese: "Think of what would have happend 500 years ago in africa if someone had stood up for the blacks”Š."

And run afoul of someone's "property rights"? Namely, those of slave owners. You don't really mean that do you?

foo bar

"I’m tired of living in a police state, where the gov’ment takes whatever they want at the point of a gun."

Arm yourself foo bar ,

until everybody realizes to late that those few crazies were trying to tell us something , we will be locked up and behind the 8 ball before you get people to understand what is going on .

Everybody always believes "this will never happen to me"

We better start fighting back soon ! . Us few crazies can't do it alone .

Thomas Jefferson has got to be rolling in his grave at the fiasco we have in this area .If Thomas Jefferson was still around he would probably get tazed around here .

Ok , off to bed , many in the police state on wlefare are counting on me .


I bet there's more to this story. How did mud get in the sewer line? Who complained it was backing up into his/her own's house plumbing? The same neighbor who didn't like his long grass by the creek, or the one who wanted Steephill Street paved?

Are sewer repairs socialism too?

Mr. Shultz has every right to protect his property, he should now start raising bees where the intruders wanted to rip up his ground.

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"Strangers aint come down from rocky top, reckon they never will!"

Quote from CS: "PW staff met with Mr. Schultz because of his track record[...]"

You're making a case for Schult'z crusade: by your own statement, a citizen may get treated more fairly if s/he protects their property rights.

Voting for Obama has nothing to do with the serious issues with the City's heavy handed attitude over things that are convenient for them. They pick and choose which laws they want to follow when it suits their interests, and ignore the rest.

There are several examples I could cite. I don't know what Schultz actually did, but I hope he remembered that the guys doing the work are just guys doing the work. They didn't make the decisions and threatening them with harm is not a good solution.

Voting for the other ' team' certainly wouldn't have stopped what happened here in the City, as that team loves big government as well.

7 minutes and counting booo! someone's asleep at the delet button. I'll agree with others. This smacks of a planned attention grab, planned from the moment Schultz had his meeting with Public Works. Maybe he would be better suited to reside in a compound in the country with a septic tank, w/o sewer lines

wait! the delet(e)d my "e" to mess with me, i swear! :)

"ââ?¬Å?almost striking” one worker with his bumper. When Shultz allegedly ââ?¬Å?almost struck” a second worker, the bucket on the heavy equipment was put down to protect the workers."

Almost? Very weak. I guess if I almost cross the yellow line that is almost wreckless driving? Sounds like the magistrate needs to be fired for "almost" doing his job.

To powerhungry, if I fire a gun at you or throw a bottle at you, with intent to harm you it does not require that it "almost" hurt you. The act in itself with intent is absolutely enough to be charged with a felony. Thank God we have laws protecting the victims to keep them out of harms way! I'm sure if you were to speak to the C'ville workers that "almost" was too close for comfort.

You can bet that if Rob "joe the plumberer" Schilling is involved the level of seriousness is not great.

The updated portion of the story tells it all. Mr. Schultz was taught the lesson by the city that if you mess with the bull you get the horn.

Louis Schultz is a good guy. Either has was having a really bad day and did not realize how seriously the law treats using your car as a blocking device, or the city's plan involved unnecessarily tearing up some sensitive bottomland. I'll bet on the latter for now.

His previous beef was that his next door neighbor, who has closer ties to the workers at the city, got them to do a surprise paving job on the disputed Steephill alley/street/private property. And before that, nosy neighbors (maybe the same one) were calling the city on his environmentally friendly weed project, down in the creek bottom, saying he had to treat it as a manicured lawn.

It looked into the law of "prescriptive easement" and it is pretty bizarre. It's like an easement version of squatters' rights (adverse possession). The best defense, if you have the foresight, and notice someone using your property as an easement, is actually to send them a letter giving them permission! Then even if it's decades later, they cannot claim to have the easement by right. It even carries over from owner to owner. Another defense might be if the city tried to hide their use of the property (in the last decade ?), but that seems unlikely.

Quote from Angel Eyes: "[...]maybe a touch of the Taser would have been in order, sort of as an attitude adjustment."
Oh, would I like to see that done on your person.

Well how about all of you whining just give up water, sewer and electricity and go back to living in the dark ages. Just go ahead and throw your feces in the street and live by candle and drink water straight form the river. These folks are just trying to do their job. Rob and this loon pictured above need to get jobs and a life. I hope they throw him in jail. They should charge him with attempted murder. What if the car had slipped out of gear. Did you happen to think this man probably has a family.

What if your own car slips out of gear at a red light? Should we go back to horse and buggies? Scratch that... the horse may get frightened by your mug and trample on folks with FAMILIES.

I'm tired of living in a police state, where the gov'ment takes whatever they want at the point of a gun.

Mud in line caused by broken pipe and sinkhole, same as happens elsewhere in city. No conspiracy.

Broken line discovered by City staff during routine inspections and maintenance, just like they do all across the city every day. By running a tiny video camera into the line, it became apparent that a sewage backup would very likely occur in a home at the corner of Chesapeake and Steephill. Don't think those neighbors appreciate your inferring they've done something underhanded. Once again, no conspiracy.

The elderly neighbors who wanted Steephill paved moved away several years ago. Their stated reasoning for wanting it paved was that the bad condition of the road might impede rescue vehicles getting to their home. Whether you agree or disagree with their reasoning, there was no conspiracy here either.

No idea who complained about the weeds, grass, mulch pile, or whatever it was all those years ago. Seriously doubt it had a darned thing to do with the city crew repairing a broken sewer line last week, though.

there's an interview here that explains the issue. starts about 10-15 minutes into the show