Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 34-year-old Thomas R. Schmieder, Jr. of Buffalo was virtually arraigned this morning before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek on an indictment charging him with one count of Assault in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime (Class “C” felony) and one count of Assault in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony).
It is alleged that on June 29, 2020, at approximately 1:17 p.m., the defendant allegedly pushed a woman to the ground after a brief verbal altercation on Chalmers Avenue in the City of Buffalo. A man allegedly witnessed the incident and pushed the defendant away from the female victim.
The defendant is accused of calling the male victim, who is African American, a racial slur before pulling a metal pipe out of his bag. The defendant allegedly hit the male victim on the head with the pipe. After the attack, the defendant allegedly ran from the scene while yelling more racial slurs directed toward the male victim.
The male victim was taken to ECMC where he received multiple stitches for a laceration to the right side of his head and earlobe.
The defendant was arrested following the alleged attack. He was arraigned before Buffalo City Court Judge Betty Calvo-Torres on one count of Assault in the Second Degree (Class “D” felony) on June 30, 2020. He was released on his own recognizance.
After being indicted by a Grand Jury, Schmieder was initially scheduled to be arraigned on March 10, 2021. He was denied access inside the Erie County Court building after he reported that he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 14 days. His arraignment was rescheduled for April 6, 2021.
When the defendant failed to appear in court for arraignment, Erie County Court Judge Kenneth Case issued an indictment warrant for his arrest. Schmieder was located by Buffalo Police on Holden Street on Thursday afternoon and taken into custody.
It is further alleged that during his arrest yesterday, the defendant was found in possession of two bags of suspected fentanyl, one bag of marijuana mixed with suspected cocaine, and two Xanax pills. He was charged with three counts of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (Class “A” misdemeanors). He was issued an appearance ticket. He is scheduled to appear in Buffalo City Court for an arraignment on those charges on Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
Schmieder is scheduled to return on Friday, April 30, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. on the felony case. He was remanded without bail.
If convicted of the all charges, Schmieder faces a maximum of 15 years in prison.
DA Flynn commends Officer Daniel Dustin of the Buffalo Police Department for his work in the investigation as well as Officer Joseph Wendel who located the defendant.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Briana R. D. Miller of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau.
As are all persons accused of a crime, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.