Burglary and assault charges have been filed against a Sullivan man who allegedly forced his way into an apartment in order to take his infant child from the mother.
According to the probable cause statement filed by the Sullivan Police Department, police officers responded to a Mulligan Drive apartment just after midnight on April 14 for the report of a disturbance caused by Thomas E. Steinbruegge, 34. Reportedly, Steinbruegge had just forced his way into the apartment, assaulted a female victim, and left in a vehicle with their infant child – all while he was intoxicated.
Neither Steinbruegge nor the victim live at the apartment where the incident allegedly took place. The police report stated that both the victim and the apartment tenant reported that he had “shoved his way into the apartment in an attempt to retrieve the infant child.” Both witnesses said he had gone into the bedroom where the victim and infant were sleeping, and then he had struck the victim in the head and choked her around the neck. Both the witness and victim also reported that he had flipped over a living room coffee table and threatened further damage if the victim wouldn’t allow him to take the child.
Steinbruegge then allegedly grabbed the victim by the back of the neck and forced her to place the infant in a car seat, then left the scene with the baby.
Police noted the victim had “visible red marks around her neck area and had a scratch on her arm consistent with the reported assault.” The coffee table in the apartment was also turned over as described by the witness and victim. Both of them provided written statements to police, and the victim requested that charges be pursued for the assault.
Steinbruegge was later located at his Franklin County residence with his mother and the infant child, where he was taken into custody for the alleged assault. He reportedly admitted to entering the apartment to retrieve the baby, but he denied committing the assault and tampering with anything in the residence.
Steinbruegge faces charges for class B felony first-degree burglary and class D felony third-degree assault as a result of the April 14 incident. The felony complaint issued by the Crawford County Prosecutor notes that Steinbruegge is a persistent offender with five prior felony convictions and, if found guilty of the current charges against him, could be sentenced to an extended term of imprisonment. For the class B felony, punishment could be meted out as a class A felony (10 to 30 years, or life imprisonment), and for the class D felony, punishment could be that of a class C felony (three to 10 years in prison, a fine not to exceed $10,000, or both).
Steinbruegge is currently being held at the Crawford County Jail. Bond has been set at $250,000, cash or surety, and he is not to have any contact with the victim or the victim’s child.
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