The Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office has decided not to purse criminal charges against anyone involved in a in Shelby Township on Aug. 7, during the primary elections.
“They can go after each other civilly, but the criminal part is complete and prosecutor has made his decision,” said Shelby Township Police Chief Roland Woelkers.
The Shelby Township Police Department had requested a warrant against resident Matt Guarnieri for battery and assault, as well as trespassing warrants against current Shelby Township Trustee Lisa Manzella, her husband Joe, and Jean Leman, who was campaigning on behalf of her husband, Bob Leman, for supervisor.
The altercation broke out just before noon after Jean Leman, who was campaigning at Crissman Elementary School, saw Guarnieri in a lot next to the polling location spray-painting over her husband’s political campaign sign with red paint. Guarnieri was painting the word “corrupt” on political sings from the back of his vehicle, which was parked on a private drive, and then placing the signs in a patch of grass along with other political signs.
Guarnieri is an outspoken political blogger and several websites targeting Lisa Manzella.
and attempted to pull her husband’s sign from his hand. Meanwhile, Lisa Manzella walked up and tried to defend Jean Leman. Just seconds later, Lisa Manzella’s husband, Joe, arrived in a pickup truck. Some shoving and shouting ensued.
Based on the video and witness accounts, the Shelby Township Police Department made a recommendation to issue warrants against Guarnieri for assaulting Jean Leman and the other three for trespassing on the private driveway—which is an easement that belongs to Guarnieri.
Woelkers told Patch.com several warrant recommendations, including destruction of private property, could have been sent to the Prosecutor’s office, but his detectives felt only those should be forwarded.
“All potential charges and the video were reviewed by the prosecutor’s office and he has the option to upgrade the charges or drop them all together,” said Woelkers.
Woelkers said the prosecutor’s office did not issue a statement as to why he didn’t think the case should move forward, but he did speculate on his motives.
“In my opinion, I think the prosecutor just thought it was bad behavior rather than criminal intent,” he said.
No arrests were made at the scene of the assault.
However, Guarnieri told Patch.com he felt the police should have pressed for more charges against the other three. “I am disappointed by the warrants requested by the Shelby police,” said Guarnieri.
Even after the investigation was completed, Lisa Manzella said that she believes Guarnieri assaulted Jean Leman and should have been arrested at the scene.
“He absolutely assaulted her. He’ a 400 pound man and she weights 90 pounds. He should have been hauled away in handcuffs,” she said. “This is kind of disturbing that our society is so barbaric that a man can attack a woman.”
Criminal Case Closed
Guarnieri told Patch.com he does not plan to pursue a civil case against anyone involved.
Lisa Manzella, who did not win re-election, told Patch.com she too will not pursue the case any further. “I am just glad to be done with Shelby and people like Matt. That’s one thing I am absolutely not going to miss and hopefully he’s done with me,” said Manzella.
Bob Leman lost the primary elections to current Supervisor Rick Stathakis.