By Carlos Padilla
An Elephant Butte man has been incarcerated in the Sierra County Detention Center, facing five criminal counts after violently attacking his live-in girlfriend. The man, identified as 29-year-old Devon J. Schinagel, has been charged with two fourth-degree felony counts of aggravated assault against a household member, a fourth-degree felony charge of false imprisonment, and criminal counts of battery against a household member and damage to property.
Just after 2:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 26, law enforcement officials responded to a home in the 200-block of Caballo Road in Elephant Butte due to a domestic in progress. A woman alerted officials that she had locked herself inside of a room in the home and her boyfriend – Mr. Schinagel – was trying to break down the door with a baseball bat.
The woman was able to escape the home by removing a screen from the bedroom window. Once she was safely secured by the first arriving law enforcement official, Schinagel – clad only in boxer shorts – was located on the front porch of the home, and was placed in handcuffs.
Schinagel, described by Corporal Joey Provencio as being calm and cooperative, denied trying to hit his girlfriend with the baseball bat, and denied drinking any alcohol, despite “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage” emitting from him, according to the criminal complaint filed in Sierra County Magistrate Court.
Schinagel was secured in the back of Corporal Provencio’s unit, where he was watched by an agent with the United States Border Patrol while the woman was taken into the home to be interviewed by Truth or Consequences Police Officer Anthony Zagorski.
Inside the home, Provencio noted the presence of a large ax on the couch nearest to the door and a broken television set on the floor. Provencio further noted a large hunting bow lying on the floor with an arrow lodged inside the bedroom door, and a black baseball bat leaning against the bedroom door.
The woman told officials that at about 9 p.m., she and Schinagel were lying down in the living room, watching a movie when her boyfriend grabbed her neck and began to choke her. After his physical attacks continued, the woman says she ran outside and called a relative of Schinagel’s, and asked the man to come get her. The man talked to Schinagel, but refused to take the woman away from the home.
The abuse continued when the victim re-entered the home and sat in the kitchen, and Schinagel poured beer on her. The woman then showered, but before she could leave the bathroom, the 5-foot-9, 200-pound man entered the bathroom and blocked her exit. Schinagel then used a white robe to tie up the woman. When he finally untied the victim, Schinagel repeatedly pushed her into a wall in the bathroom.
When she was finally able to get away from Mr. Schinagel, the victim told officials that she went to lay down in a spare bedroom in an attempt to stay away from the man. Schinagel, however, repeatedly entered the spare bedroom, to harass and threaten her. The woman stated that Schinagel threw a mini shovel at her and threw a five-pound weight, damaging the walls inside the bedroom.
Schinagel entered the bedroom at one point, carrying a large knife and made numerous slashing motions with the weapon toward her.
“I’m going to kill you,” Schinagel reportedly threatened the woman, taunting her. “Do something.”
When Schinagel left the room, the victim told officials that she shut the door and placed a heavy, wooden headboard against the door in an effort to prevent him from re-entering. At one point, Schinagel picked up a hunting bow and shot an arrow into the door before the victim was able to close the door. Moments later, Schinagel used a baseball bat to strike the door in an effort to gain entry into the bedroom.
Corporal Provencio noted the presence of several holes in the bedroom door.
The victim stated that while Schinagel was beating on the door with the bat, she was pushing against the headboard into the door, attempting to keep him from gaining access into the bedroom.
When Schinagel finally stopped beating on the door with the bat, the woman states that she took the opportunity to remove the screen from the window and escape from the residence. During the attack, while she was in the bedroom, the woman dialed 911 and reported the incident. When she escaped from the home, she met Corporal Provencio near the street.
Provencio photographed injuries to the woman, as well as the location of every weapon used in the attack and the damage to the home.
Schinagel was booked into the Sierra County Detention Center, where he is being held on a $20,000 cash bond.