Schmidt, 55, was arraigned Friday morning on charges of ethnic intimidation, a felony punishable by up to two years in prison; and malicious destruction of property, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, said Ottawa County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Scheuerle.
Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said the arrest sends a clear message regarding the crime of ethnic intimidation and similar behavior.
“We appreciate the cooperation extended from the management of Williamsburg Court Apartments and the diligence of the Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office in quickly reviewing this case,” Hawke said Friday.
On May 8, an African-American maintenance worker was painting a vacant unit at the apartment complex, and then left the apartment for a brief time to retrieve supplies. When he returned, he found a racial slur — “We don’t want n-----s working here” — written in red marker on the wall that he was painting.
Grand Haven public safety officers served arrest warrants Thursday night on Schmidt in connection with the case. Schmidt lives at the Williamsburg Court complex.
Scheuerle said Schmidt is lodged at the Ottawa County Jail and his bond was set at $3,500 cash or surety. He is set for a preliminary hearing at 8 a.m. Tuesday.