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Orchard Park man pepper-sprayed, arrested during police investigation of accident

An Orchard Park man’s efforts to help a family member after she was involved in an accident Wednesday night led to his arrest.

George Schlemmer, 71, was charged with misdemeanor counts of obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest after the night’s events, which included him being sprayed with pepper spray during a confrontation with an officer, police said.

The incident started with a two-car accident on South Freeman Road at about 9:15 p.m., police reported. Occupants of a northbound vehicle reported that a southbound car was in their lane and they were unable to avoid a collision.

By the time police arrived, the woman driving the southbound vehicle was gone, although her vehicle was still there. The other motorist told police that she had gotten out of the car, her head bloodied, and admitted to drinking some wine.

The woman left the scene in a vehicle that had come to pick her up, police were told.

The car left behind was registered to Susan Schlemmer, 70, of Orchard Park.

Police said they couldn’t officially confirm the relationship between the two because they haven’t been able to speak to Susan Schlemmer, nor have they been contacted by an attorney on her behalf.

A man who was a passenger in the northbound car was taken to a hospital with back pain, police said, but his injuries weren’t serious.

Meanwhile, an officer went to the Schlemmer home to check on the other driver’s well-being and continue his investigation.

After ringing the doorbell, the officer saw a woman inside, walking unsteadily toward the door but she didn’t open it and went upstairs instead, police said. George Schlemmer and an adult son eventually returned home and refused the officer access to the home.

George Schlemmer continued to refuse access, even after being told that he could be arrested for his actions, police said. The son was allowed to go inside and care for the woman.

After consulting with the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, Schlemmer was arrested on the obstruction charge, police said. As he was being placed in the patrol car, he tried to get away and his son argued with the officer, police said.

Both father and son were warned that if they continued to resist and threaten the officer, pepper spray would be used, police said.

The warning was ignored and the spray was used on George Schlemmer, police said.

The elder Schlemmer was taken to Police Headquarters, where he was decontaminated and evaluated by emergency medical personnel.

He was released on appearance tickets and is scheduled to appear May 12 in Town Court.