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Police statements describe violent attack on Wide River Winery employee | State and regional news

THOMAS GEYER TOM LOEWY

The promise of a warm spring evening in Davenports East Village was shattered Thursday by a cheeky assault and attempted robbery by a Wide River Winery employee.

Eric Sergesketter owns a business near the winery, 1128 Mound St. He said around noon. 17:30 that one of his workers told him that something was going on at the vineyard.

They heard a woman screaming and saw that she was bleeding. Davenport police later identified the woman as an employee of the winery. And according to police investigators, two people attacked the woman – Christopher Lavelle Mitchell, 35, and Emilee Rose Haberling, 20.

Mitchell and Haberling are charged with one count of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery.

Sergeants saw the end of what police later claimed was a violent attack marked by Mitchell, who threatened to rape, stab and kill the winery’s employees.

“(Winery staff) were able to escape the attack,” Sergesketter said. “She got bloody pretty well. She had blood dripping down her face and neck. When I got outside, we ran over there and there was already an officer with her.”

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“The good thing about this is that she was able to get out of it. She was still walking, talking and breathing.”

“Our friend showed amazing courage, strength and quick thinking during this attack,” the winery wrote on social media. “We support her recovery as much as we know, and put together a plan to improve security measures and reopen … we are crushed for our staff and society today.”

Affidavits filed Davenport Cpl. Bryant Wayland indicated that police were dispatched to the scene at 6 p.m. 17.35

Wayland said Mitchell and Haberling walked into the winery and punched the employee in the face. Her head was knocked to the ground and she was dragged by her hair to the cash register. Mitchell took money from the drawer.

The violence did not end when Mitchell had the money.

According to the statements, Mitchell and Haberling caused the employee to crawl on her hands and knees and hold her by the hair while beating her in the head and hitting her head on the floor.

Mitchell strangled her with both hands and prevented her from breathing at various times. Haberling took the employee’s cell phone and smashed it to the ground, preventing her from calling 911.

Mitchell demanded that the employee tell him where the winery’s camera surveillance system and video recordings were located. The employee told police she heard Mitchell tell Haberling he gave her a knife, saying, “If she tries to get away, stab her.”

The employee said Haberling and Mitchell moved her throughout the company while the assault continued.

While Mitchell checked for the surveillance system, Haberling kept the employee on the ground, statements said. Mitchell returned and said “I’m raping you, I’m killing you, I want to do what I want, I have a knife.” Before walking again, he handed Haberling a knife and asked her to stab the employee.

The employee told police she threw a chair to escape the winery, and Mitchell and Haberling followed her. They pulled her back into the building, but she was able to escape when she heard police sirens approaching the scene.

Mitchell and Haberling withdrew to the winery and were quickly located, police said, but were uncooperative and opposed arrest. Physical force, including a taser, was used to carry out the arrests.

Officers found about $ 317 in Mitchell’s sweatshirt pocket with some of the money wrapped in cash and match the amount stolen during the robbery. Both suspects refused to identify themselves.

The employee was transported to a hospital with injuries that included bruises to both eyes, a wound on the tongue, a left orbital fracture and a broken collarbone, bleeding and bruising on the right side of her face.

Sergeants said the attack shocked the entire East Village.

“… this happened in broad daylight and in a lovely part of town,” he said. “Everyone enjoyed a nice relaxed Thursday night, and suddenly this is happening.”

Both Mitchell – on parole in Iowa until 2025 for robbery convictions – and Haberling risk life sentences in prison if convicted.

First-degree kidnapping under Iowa law carries a mandatory life sentence in prison, while first-degree robbery carries a mandatory 25-year prison sentence – 70%, or 17½ years, must be served before parole can be granted.

Haberling is also charged with first-degree theft, which carries a 10-year prison sentence, and a charge of misdemeanor for preventing 911 communications.

The couple is also accused of harassment by public officials and interference in official acts.

Mitchell is on probation until Feb. 28, 2025, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections’ electronic records. The new charges come just about four months after he was released from prison.

On January 22, 2004, Mitchell was sentenced to two years in prison and two years probation after pleading guilty to three counts of third-degree burglary, one of which occurred on May 5, 2003, and the other two. on October 29th. , 2003. He had also pleaded guilty to a charge of driving a vehicle without the owner’s consent.

He violated his probation and was sentenced to five years in prison for the burglary convictions and two years in prison for the second charge. The verdicts were to run concurrently.

He was released on parole on April 27, 2006.

On May 12, 2006, Davenport police arrested Mitchell for two counts of first-degree robbery. In both cases, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of second-degree robbery.

His parole in the previous case was revoked and he was sentenced to prison for robbery.

Mitchell was put on parole on December 16 and probation on March 2.

In their applications for a court-appointed attorney, Mitchell listed his address as being in Des Moines, while Haberling had no hometown.

They are both being held without custody in Scott County Jail.

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