MOORHEAD, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Charges were reduced against a Moorhead man accused of waving his gun at two women during a road rage incident related to differences on political views.
Joseph Schumacher, 27, appeared in Clay County court on Wednesday morning for his hearing.
Schumacher reportedly drove up alongside the women after he was enraged over a political bumper sticker on their car, according to the Moorhead Police Department.
Court records stated Schumacher got into an argument on October 7 with the women for their Elizabeth Warren bumper sticker.
Warren is one of a dozen candidates vying to be the democratic presidential nominee.
Schumacher's vehicle had a Trump-Pence sticker, according to court records. Their back-and-forth escalated into Schumacher waving a loaded gun at the women.
After the incident, Moorhead police found him at a restaurant wearing a Trump 2020 cap and located two loaded pistols in his vehicle.
Whether it's at the water cooler or dinner table, Schumacher’s case highlighted how talking about politics has gotten out of hand.
“Everyone has a right to their opinion and to voice their opinion. The big thing is just to support each other and letting people speak,” Nicole Nowacki, who was at the West Acres Mall, said about handling political differences.
“I don't discuss it with other people. That's their opinion and I have mine,” Anita Willprecht said.
Most people we talked to at the mall said conversations surrounding politics have become unproductive.
“I walk away because I could get into an argument very easily. But, I think I'm better off just walking away and letting it go,” Douglas Brentson, a Vietnam War veteran, said.
Schumacher was told Wednesday morning by a Clay County judge that as part of his release he cannot have any contact with the victims. Schumacher told the judge he's planning to move to Bismarck to stay with his parents.
We asked the Clay County Attorney’s office why prosecutors decided to reduce Schumacher's two original felony charges of terroristic threat and instead charge him with a gross misdemeanor and two misdemeanors. Prosecutor Michael Leeser told us he wouldn't comment on charging decisions.