MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A worker for a tree trimming service in Lakeville is facing a second-degree assault charge after police say he threatened a colleague with a chainsaw.
Witnesses told police 34-year-old Jason Warren Schultz, of Little Falls, used racial slurs as he threatened to kill his co-worker.
“I thought it was just tree trimmers conversing along with the noise of the chainsaw,” said neighbor Kevin Gilmore. “Then I saw it was something more than that.”
According to the criminal complaint, Schultz had been up in a tree cutting off branches and throwing them down near his co-worker. When that co-worker asked Schultz to stop throwing branches by him, Schultz started yelling racial slurs.
“That was the part that bothered me the most,” Gilmore said. “There are typically a lot of kids out and about so they would have been exposed to all of that.”
The argument escalated.
“I looked over saw the gentleman go down the hill with a chainsaw,” neighbor Cara Lee said.
She said she watched from her deck as Schultz started up a chainsaw and walked towards his co-worker yelling, “I’m going to kill you.”
“You’re just kind of like this is not really happening right now,” she said.
The co-worker then grabbed a shovel to defend himself.
“He just kept turning it on and revving it up, and the other guy just didn’t really back down,” Lee said.
Both Lee and Gilmore called 911. Police arrived before anyone was hurt.
Schultz told police he was “hot and upset” when he got angry at his co-worker for yelling at him up in the tree.
If convicted, Schultz faces up to seven years in prison, and/or a $14,000 fine.