Brawl at hotel baby shower leads to officer's arrest

WEST MEMPHIS, AR (WMC) - A West Memphis police officer is off the job and arrested after getting into a fight while off duty.

Police captain Joe Baker said Wendi Schuchardt, a five-and-a-half-year veteran of the WMPD, was at a West Memphis hotel celebrating her daughter's baby shower.

Some hotel guests came into the area and allegedly said something rude to Schuchardt's daughter. That's when the two groups got into an argument.

Baker said surveillance video showed that Schuchardt, who worked as a school resource officer at East Junior High in West Memphis, escalated the verbal argument into a physical fight. Baker said both parties were intoxicated, and that likely contributed to the situation getting out of control.

"We saw some things that rose to the level of criminal conduct," Baker said about what surveillance video showed Schuchardt doing on March 24 at the hotel. "This was a tragic situation for her and her career, but it's conduct we just cannot condone."

Schuchardt used a chokehold during the fight, which is why she was charged with felony aggravated assault and third-degree battery.

Criminal charges were filed against her on April 12.

The victims were not charged with any criminal offenses, because Baker said they did nothing out of line considering the situation.

Schuchardt's record with the department was clean until the brawl.

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