Two men have been charged after police say several individuals recently broke into a Bismarck home, held a family captive and assaulted a police officer.
Ronnie Seiter, 59, of Park Hills, is charged with a class B felony of burglary in the first degree, two counts of felony armed criminal action, a class B felony of assault in the first degree, a class A felony of assault in the first degree against a law enforcement officer and a class B felony of kidnapping.
Michael Gunzenhouser, 45, of Bismarck, is charged with a class B felony of burglary and a class E felony of assault in the third degree.
According to the probable cause statements, two officers with the Bismarck Police Department were called to an apartment in the 900 block of East Main St. in Bismarck. and while heading there they were informed by central dispatch that there were five men armed with baseball bats and a gun holding people hostage.
A male and female officer arrived at the apartment at 10:14 p.m. Nov. 22. Gunzenhouser ran to the back of the apartment in an attempt to escape.
The officer entered with his gun drawn and found a man he was familiar with. The man had a severe injury to his head and was covered in blood. The officer saw another man to his right with a baseball bat and made the man lie face down on the ground.
The officer then went into the kitchen and found five other people in the kitchen area. A 16-year-old individual was in there with an unidentified man standing over the teen with a wood splitter ax. Three other unidentified men were found in the back bedroom with a woman.
When the officer heard his partner scream for help behind him he made all the people in the apartment lie face down on the ground. That’s when he saw Seiter assault his partner by hitting her in the face and chest. Seiter then took off running, so the officer holstered his gun and ran after him.
The officer caught Seiter behind Carla’s Café and placed him under arrest. The officer walked Seiter back to his patrol vehicle and locked him inside. He continued his investigation and found the other three men had left on foot while he was running after Seiter.
The officer took statements from everyone at the apartment and called for EMS to check out the man who was assaulted and his partner to make sure she was OK from the assault.
According to statements at 10 p.m. Gunzenhouser approached the front door of an apartment. When the door opened he struck the owner of the apartment in the face with his fist. Gunzenhouser struck the man five more times while forcing his way into the apartment.
The woman who was in the back bedroom said she was tied up and had her clothing ripped off of her. She identified her attacker as Seiter.
The officer spoke with a second man who was there and who had called the police. He also spoke with the teen and he said the guys forced their way into the home with bats, knives and a gun. He said the larger man hit the injured man with the gun and Seiter hit the injured man with a baseball bat.
Another officer went to the hospital to interview the injured man about what took place. The man told the officer that he was jumped by four men and was hit with a baseball bat and a gun.
Police brought Gunzenhouser into custody on Nov. 29 at 8:54 a.m. and he refused to give a written statement. However, he gave a verbal statement confirming that Seiter and two other men went to the apartment and that he assaulted the man who lived there.
Seiter is in the St. Francois County Jail on a $300,000 bond for his current charges and a no bond warrant.
Gunzenhouser is being held on a $75,000 bond.