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St. Louis Police Officer Allegedly Beat Boyfriend During Dispute

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KPLR) - A St. Louis police officer, accused of beating his boyfriend-domestic partner, was suspended and jailed, Tuesday.  Officer Matthew Schanz, 26, a 3-year veteran patrol officer, is charged with 2 counts of domestic assault, felonies.  He`s also charged with a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

At last check, he remained jailed Tuesday night; bail set at $10,000.

A spokeswoman for the circuit attorney said the felonies counts carried prison sentences of up to 7 years each, if convicted.

Schanz`s home in the 4600 block of Spring in South St. Louis became a crime scene in the early morning hours of March 10th.

He choked his boyfriend-domestic partner, then smashed his head into the bathroom wall, causing a gash that needed stitches, police said.

The charges came Tuesday after what St. Louis Police Chief, Sam Dotson, called a thorough internal affairs/domestic abuse investigation.

'Rgardless, if he`s a police officer or a normal citizen, we conduct the same type of investigation... we hold our officers to a higher standard,' Dotson said.

'Yeah, I am stunned.  We were glad to have a police officer moving in here actually,' said Schanz`s neighbor, Gary Struebig.

He`d heard about a St. Louis officer being charged with assault but didn`t realize it was his neighbor until we told him.

'It`s astounding.  It really is.  I would look to him for help rather than him being in the aggressor in this thing, you know.  Unbelievable!' Struebig said.

'These are individual decisions.  This officer was acting off-duty, not in any capacity as a police officer.  We all have personal lives.  He made some decisions that night that were not in his best interest and not in the best interest of his partner... certainly someone that`s charged with a felony as is the case here, we don`t want on our streets patrolling, in the City of St. Louis,' Dotson said.  'There are nearly 1300 officers that everyday go out and do a good job. This is no reflection on the job that they do.  This is an individual officer that acted in his personal life and we investigated it just like we would any crime.'

He said Schanz was put on administrative duty right after the incident.  With the filing of charges, Dotson suspended Schanz without pay, aside from pay for any personal paid time off he'd accrued.

Schanz surrendered his badge and weapon.

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