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Charges "totally bogus," take-down suspect says

Daniel Michael Choquette, seen here in this exclusive photo, has been charged along with Michael Schmidt.
Daniel Michael Choquette, seen here in this exclusive photo, has been charged along with Michael Schmidt.

One of two men charged following Thursday’s police take-down called his charges “bogus.”

Daniel Michel Choquette, 31, and Michael Schmidt, 39, made their first court appearances this morning on a total of 20 charges.

Refused all medical treatment
Choquette and Schmidt were arrested after having assaulted a tenant in an apartment building at 392 Airport Rd. The North Bay Police Service’s Emergency Response Team and members from the OPP Tactical Response Unit staked out the building for five hours before the incident ended peacefully around 8:30 Thursday morning.

Schmidt was arrested after jumping to the ground from a second-storey balcony, and refused all medical treatment.

Choquette was arrested after being found in a vehicle in the apartment building’s parking lot.
A loaded .22 rifle was found next to him, and ammunition was found in Schmidt's pocket.

The two men are also wanted in Ottawa in connection with a kidnapping in Ottawa last weekend.

Visibly limped
They made brief and separate court appearances in front of Justice of the Peace Michael Kitlar.

Schmidt appeared first, wearing a black leather jacket, a grey t-shirt and faded black jeans.

He was balding and his hair considerably shorter than it is in a mug shot issued by the Ottawa Police Service and he had a moustache as well.

Schmidt was remanded until Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. and was also prohibited from communicating with Choquette or Jay McColman, the tenant who was assaulted.

Schmidt visibly limped as he left the prisoner’s box, and his lawyer, Erin Lainevool, said her client had hurt his knee.

Just sleeping
Choquette was brought up around 10:40, wearing black track pants, and a black sweat shirt with a large gold crest on it. A tattoo was visible on his neck and he stood with his arms crossed as JP Kitlar asked him if he understood the charges.

“The charges are entirely bogus, totally bogus,” Choquette said.

“I was just sleeping in the back of my truck.”

Choquette, who was also ordered not to communicate with McColman or Schmidt, was remanded until Tuesday as well.

“That’s good,” he said, “because I’ll be seeking medical attention Monday.”

Further charges are pending
Earlier Friday morning Choquette was charged by the North Bay Police with possession of a prohibited weapon; two counts of possession of stolen goods; firearm possession contrary to prohibition; possession of a weapon obtained by crime; careless storage of a firearm; possession of ammunition while being prohibited to do so.

Michael Schmidt, 39, of Queensdale Street, in Gloucester, has been charged with assault; assault with a weapon; uttering threats; weapons dangerous; four counts of possession of stolen goods; break and enter and commit; two counts of mischief; and two counts of breach of probation.

The investigation is continuing and further charges are pending in relation to property offences.

Drugs and counterfeit money
Choquette and Schmidt have both already been charged by the Ottawa Police Service with conspiracy to commit extortion, forcible confinement, extortion using a firearm, kidnapping with a firearm, uttering death threats, possession of a weapon to commit a criminal offence and theft over $5,000. Schmidt is also charged with possession of a weapon while prohibited by a court order.

Those charges are related to an incident in Ottawa last weekend during which four men forced their way into the residence of a 40-year-old man and took him to a pawn shop where he was kept at gunpoint.

Demands were made for a large amount of money.
The suspects then drove the victim to a residence in Prescott where more demands were made. Someone called 911, said Ottawa Police Service Staff Sgt. Monique Ackland, and the suspects fled.

Ackland said the motive for the attack is related to drugs and counterfeit money.