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Gun charges filed against Trump backer for alleged road rage encounter with Warren supporter

Paul Walsh, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in News & Features

MINNEAPOLIS -- A 27-year-old motorist was charged Wednesday with two weapons violations for allegedly flashing a loaded handgun at another driver in Moorhead, Minn., during an encounter centered on his visible support for Donald Trump and hers for presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren.

Joseph R. Schumacher, a student at the Minnesota State University Moorhead, was charged in Clay County District Court with gross-misdemeanor carrying a gun without a permit and misdemeanor unlawful transport of firearms in connection with the rolling encounter with an 18-year-old Moorhead woman shortly after noon Monday on S. 8th Street near Concordia College.

Schumacher appeared in court Wednesday and was released without having to post bond. Messages were left with him seeking his response to the allegations, which prosecutors have classified as a road rage incident.

According to the charges and police:

The woman told law enforcement that Schumacher pulled up next to her and her passenger, rolled down his window and screamed "his dislike for the political bumper sticker" on her car backing the Democrat from Massachusetts, a statement from police read.

Schumacher also pointed toward his bumper Trump/Pence sticker in support of the Republican president and kept voicing "his difference in national political views," the statement continued.

After the motorists continued on the busy street for several blocks, Schumacher drove in front of her car and was "brandishing a pistol," the criminal complaint read.

 

Schumacher was soon located nearby in a Kurdish restaurant wearing a "Trump 2020" cap. He contended that had been flirting with the driver and her female passenger. However, one of Schumacher's passengers told police that Schumacher indeed displayed a gun during the incident.

Officers searched Schumacher's car and found a loaded handgun in the center console and a retail box in the back seat holding an unloaded handgun and a magazine. Schumacher does not have a state-issued permit to carry a firearm in public.

Schumacher was a four-time state champion wrestler at Bismarck High School and competed for two years at Division I Oklahoma State before transferring to Division II MSU-Moorhead. He last competed for Moorhead in December 2018, when an injury ended his season early.

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