Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Donald Van Schoick had been released from jail. He is still in custody at the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office.  

ITHACA, N.Y. — A man with a taser cursed and threatened about a dozen children with a taser last weekend at the Cedar Creek Apartments, just south of downtown Ithaca, court records show.

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Donald E. Van Schoick, 60, is charged with a felony for third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and misdemeanors for second-degree menacing and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to court paperwork, Van Schoick became upset when eight to 12 children were playing by mailboxes.

He allegedly began yelling profanities at the children and took a black stun gun out of his vehicle and pointed it at them while it sparked.

A witness told police that her children said Van Schoick was threatening them. She said he then pointed the weapon at her and said, “This is for the mother…Someone is going to die but not tonight.” The woman called 911.

While waiting for police to arrive, another woman allegedly asked Van Schoick not to curse in front of the children after hearing him threaten to run them over with his vehicle. She told police he threatened to shoot her with a gun, court documents show.

The documents go on to say that when Ithaca Police Officers arrived, Van Schoick hid the stun gun under a blanket on the lap of a woman in a wheelchair who could not speak because she’d previously suffered a stroke.

Police recovered the weapon and, with assistance from the elderly woman, realized it was a stun gun.

Van Schoick was taken into custody at the scene.

The case is being handled by the Tioga County District Attorney’s office after Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson petitioned to have the case moved because Van Schoick is a blood relative of a DA staffer.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.