Witnesses testify at hearing for Big Rapids police officer accused of domestic violence

IN COURT: Simone Smith-Politz, right, sits next to her attorney Nick Bostic, during Friday's preliminary hearing in a Mecosta County courtroom. Smith-Politz is charged with one count of felonious assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of domestic violence. (Pioneer photo/Emilly Grove-Davis)

IN COURT: Simone Smith-Politz, right, sits next to her attorney Nick Bostic, during Friday’s preliminary hearing in a Mecosta County courtroom. Smith-Politz is charged with one count of felonious assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of domestic violence. (Pioneer photo/Emilly Grove-Davis)

BIG RAPIDS — The case against a Big Rapids police officer charged with felonious assault will proceed after a judge bound her charge over to circuit court on Friday.

Simone Smith-Politz, 32, of Big Rapids, was arraigned in May in Mecosta County’s 77th District Court on one count of felonious assault with a dangerous weapon and one count of domestic violence.

According to the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office, police were called on May 15 to a residence in Green Township for a report of a domestic dispute where Smith-Politz allegedly pulled a knife.

On Friday, the victim was the first witness to take the stand during the case’s preliminary examination. Robert Springstead, the Newaygo County Prosecutor, was specially assigned to the case by the Attorney General’s office.

The victim testified he and Smith-Politz went out for dinner on the night of the incident, and then went to the bar where they later got into an argument. Once at home, the two were in the garage smoking cigarettes and the argument continued, escalating when Smith-Politz shoved him. At that point, he went into the house and locked the garage door behind him. Smith-Politz ultimately went to the front door and entered the home.

“Was there physical contact as you came through door?” Springstead asked. “Somehow the two of you ended up on the floor?”

“As far as I can recall it was kind of a shoving match, and yes, we ended up on the floor,” the victim said. “I went down first and she was on top of me.”

After getting out from under Smith-Politz, the victim went to the door and she went to the kitchen. She then pulled out a knife and told him, “Don’t come any closer,” according to the victim.

Springstead questioned if the victim asked Smith-Politz to put the weapon down. He said, yes. Smith-Politz did not comply with his request, at which point he took out his phone and dialed 911.

Smith-Politz’s attorney, Nick Bostic, then questioned the victim, asking about the number of drinks he had throughout the night. The victim admitted to being intoxicated and was mildly obnoxious, interrupting Smith-Politz in conversation, which is what first started the argument.

“And who owns the dwelling?” Bostic asked the victim, referring to the residence Smith-Politz was locked out of.

“Simone,” the victim stated, acknowledging he did now have ownership rights of the property.

The victim also said he was still under the influence of alcohol when he filled out a written statement for police regarding what happened that morning.

Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office Deputy John Bongard also testified in court Friday.

Bongard stated during the dispatch call the victim said Smith-Politz pulled a knife on him and wouldn’t let him leave. When officers arrived on scene, Smith-Politz was sitting in garage by herself. Bongard testified he knew Smith-Politz because of her work as a police officer for the city of Big Rapids.

He then asked questions her questions to find out what had transpired that morning.

Bongard said Smith-Politz told him the victim was holding the door shut and as she went into the house, he fell backward and she fell on top of him. She ended up putting him in a chokehold. He then rolled over and put his forearm in her face and then got up. She went to the kitchen and grabbed the knife.

Smith-Politz showed the officers the knife, which had a blade length of about eight inches. She had been in the kitchen and victim was in other room when she was holding the knife, which Bongard estimated put between 15 to 25 feet between the two.

“Did she indicate her purpose for holding the knife?”

“She said that he told her to put down the knife and she told him to shut the door,” Bongard testified. “She wanted him to know how serious she was about keeping the argument private.”

The other officer who responded to the scene, Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chad Thompson, also testified. The defense did not present any evidence or witnesses at the hearing.

Judge Kimberly Booher heard the case and ruled to bind the felony charge over to Mecosta County’s 49th Circuit Court.

At the end of the hearing, Bostic asked the court to lift the no contact order imposed between Smith Politz and the victim as part of a condition of his client’s bond. Both Springstead and Bostic noted the victim wanted the order lifted, believing it was an isolated incident. However, Springstead was not in favor of lifting the order.

Booher denied the request for the moment, stating her normal procedure for lifting an order involves an affidavit being filed and a court hearing.

Smith-Politz is currently on unpaid leave from the Big Rapids Department of Public Safety.

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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