Joseph Reuben Schwarz, 23, of Helena, was charged with felony assault with a weapon following a vehicle chase.
On Aug. 24, law enforcement responded to a domestic disturbance at a business on West Main Street in East Helena. The complainant told dispatch that a man and woman were arguing in the parking lot and had entered the business. The woman, later identified as the victim, attempted to get away from the man, the defendant.
The victim reportedly told the defendant to leave her alone and she attempted to enter a bathroom to get away from him. The defendant allegedly forced the door open and continued arguing with her. The complainant told the defendant he needed to leave the business.
The defendant reportedly left the business at this point and waited outside for the victim to leave. Employees of the business allowed the victim to hide in their office until the defendant left. When the defendant was believed to have left, an employee walked the victim out to her vehicle.
As the victim entered her vehicle, the defendant quickly drove his vehicle and parked alongside the victim's car. The defendant is accused of nearly hitting the complainant who walked the victim to her car. As the defendant started exiting his vehicle, the victim backed out of the parking space and left the business.
As deputies began responding to the scene, the complainant called to inform them that the defendant began chasing the victim in his own vehicle. The complainant advised he was driving recklessly while attempting to follow the victim. Surveillance video from the business showed the defendant failing to stop at a stop sign while attempting to remain behind the victim as she fled.
The victim told deputies the defendant has a history of violent behavior, causing her to fear for her life.
The defendant admitted to following the victim into the business. He said that he "took things too far" in attempting to speak with the victim, according to court documents.
All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.