TAWAS CITY – Presten Charles Merschel, 18, Tawas City, was scheduled at press time to appear in Iosco County’s 81st District Court for a pre-trial conference and preliminary exam.
He is facing two separate felony counts – each punishable by up to two years in prison and/or fines of $2,000 – of assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer. He also faces one misdemeanor count of domestic violence, all of which are the result of an alleged incident that occurred on the afternoon of Feb. 20.
As stated in court records by the Tawas Police Authority (TPA), officers were dispatched on this date to a domestic assault where an alleged female victim, 27, was waiting for law enforcement at the Tawas City Library. The male suspect had left the scene, but officers received a description of the man and a direction of travel.
TPA Chief Mark Ferguson was first in the area and he advised that he witnessed an individual matching the description of the suspect, walking north on First Avenue near Roberta Drive.
Ferguson made contact with the man – identified as Merschel – in a yard on North First Avenue.
Merschel was allegedly walking toward Ferguson with his hands in his pocket, and the chief ordered him to remove his hands. Merschel complied, but continued to walk toward Ferguson.
Ferguson said he ordered the suspect to get on the ground multiple times, but Merschel refused. He allegedly proceeded to walk past Ferguson and keep walking away.
The chief advised that he executed an arm bar takedown on the suspect and told him multiple times to stop resisting, but that Merschel continued to resist.
Another TPA officer had arrived on scene, and he and Ferguson were able to gain control of the suspect and handcuff him.
Two more officers then arrived, and Merschel allegedly began being aggressive with law enforcement as they attempted to search him.
As Ferguson helped Merschel stand up, the suspect is claimed to have lunged backwards at him. Ferguson then brought Merschel to the ground, after which the suspect allegedly said that he would not fight anymore.
When Ferguson and one of the officers assisted the man up again, he allegedly grabbed onto one of the officer’s fingers. Police also claim that Merschel refused to get into the patrol vehicle, but that officers were able to assist him into the vehicle.
The alleged female victim told police that she was at a nearby residence waiting for a friend when Merschel asked her for some marijuana, to which she stated no.
She claims that Merschel became agitated, started yelling and began hitting her car. It is further alleged that he opened the door of the vehicle, grabbed the woman’s thumb and bent it backwards.
The female states that she pulled Merschel’s hand away to close the door and, as she was driving off, Merschel allegedly kicked the vehicle again. The woman, who once shared a residence with Merschel, then waited for officers near the library.
Authorities state in court records that they noticed bruising consistent with what the female advised had happened.