FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – A deputy with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Eric Schmidt, has been charged with battery, according to a statement released by the Sheriff of Fresno County.
According to the charging documents, released by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office, the battery took place around February 15, 2023, one day before the funeral of Selma Police Officer Gonzalo Carrasco – a death that was investigated by the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
The charging documents name the victim – which matches the name of another member of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, officials are conducting an ongoing administrative investigation into the incident. Deputy Eric Schmidt has not been placed on paid administrative leave, pending further investigation.
I want to remind everyone that the Sheriff’s Office takes all allegations seriously and will ensure that a thorough administrative investigation is conducted in this case.Sheriff of Fresno County John Zanoni
Deputy Eric Schmidt was charged with battery under CA Penal Code section 242 following an investigation by the Fresno Police Department, the agency of jurisdiction.
Officials say Eric Schmidt has been a deputy with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office since 1997 and has served as the president of the Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association since 2008.
In a statement, the association says it is “disappointed by the decision of the Tulare County District Attorney to file what appears to be a baseless charge against Deputy Eric Schmidt.”
We fully and firmly support Eric and look forward to his ultimate vindication.Fresno Deputy Sheriff’s Association
Schmidt’s lawyer, Christopher Shea, says in a statement he is “in receipt of the complaint filed in Fresno County Superior Court and has been retained to represent Deputy Schmidt.”
Deputy Schmidt denies the charges, is presumed innocent, and looks forward to his exoneration in court.Christopher Shea
He also serves as an adjunct instructor at Fresno City College’s Police Academy and has been teaching there since 2002. In March, he was appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom to the state’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.