Man accused of threatening people on breakwater not guilty by reason of mental disease

Campbellsport resident who was armed with knife when arrested last year will be monitored by DHS
Ozaukee Press Staff

A 63-year-old man who was accused of  wielding a knife while chasing and threatening to kill two people on Port Washington’s lakefront in October 2017 was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect last week.

Douglas M. Schacht of Campbellsport pleaded guilty in the first phase of the insanity plea process to one felony count of failure to comply with officers attempting to arrest him, admitting that he committed the crime. But in the second phase of the process, he pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease of defect, claiming he lacked the ability to either appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions or conform his conduct to the requirements of the law. 

Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Paul Malloy accepted the pleas and ordered Schacht committed to the supervision of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services for 18 months.

Malloy ordered Schacht be monitored in the community rather than in an institution and instructed the Department of Health Services to draft a treatment plan, which is scheduled to be reviewed by the judge during a July 17 hearing.

Schacht was initially charged with two felony counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and two misdemeanor counts of resisting an officer, but those charges were amended to a single felony prior to last week’s plea hearing.

According to the criminal complaint, a man told officers that on Tuesday, Oct. 10, he had been fishing on the breakwater and while walking to shore at about 9:30 a.m. encountered Schacht, who was carrying what authorities described as a 12-inch butcher knife, the complaint states.

The man said Schacht told him he could not leave the breakwater, and when the man said he was leaving anyway, Schacht told him, “No. If you do, I will kill you,” the complaint states. 

The man managed to run around Schacht and off the breakwater with Schacht chasing him.

Another man, who was near Newport Shores restaurant at the foot of the breakwater, said he saw the fisherman being chased by Schacht. Schacht then ran toward him and began slashing at him with the knife, according to the complaint.

The man said he ran onto the breakwater and was heading toward the lighthouse when police officers arrived.

Three officers cornered Schacht on the breakwater and ordered him to put the knife down. At one point Schacht dropped the knife, but then he picked it up again, prompting officers to warn him that they would shoot if he came toward them with the weapon, the complaint states.

Eventually Schacht, who during the standoff said he wanted to jump in the lake and die, put the knife down and was arrested, according to the complaint. He refused to walk off the breakwater and had to be carried by officers.

Schacht had apparently come to Port Washington to jump into the lake, then became upset when the first fisherman he encountered ruined his plan, Port Washington Police Chief Kevin Hingiss said shortly after the incident. Schacht later said that he wanted police to shoot him and allow him to die, the complaint states.

Officers found a note in his car stating his intentions and were told by his wife that he had mental health problems, Hingiss said.


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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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