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Mother of Ponte Vedra stabbing victim filed complaint against suspect less than a week before attack

The incident report says Madison Schemitz's mother reported 18-year-old Spencer Pearson left notes on Schemitz car, followed her to school and harassed her online

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The video attached to this story is from a previous, related report.

A newly-released report shows that the mother of Madison Schemitz, the Ponte Vedra High softball player who was stabbed outside a Ponte Vedra restaurant Saturday, had filed a complaint against the suspect -- less than a week before the incident.

Eighteen-year-old Spencer Pearson, accused in the stabbing which paralyzed Schemitz and injured her mother, as well as a Good Samaritan who tried to intervene, was Schemitz's ex-boyfriend.

The incident report says Schemitz's mother, Jacki Rogé, reported sometime in April that Pearson had 'started acting strange' towards Schemitz.

Rogé says Schemitz told her a few months prior "Spencer was following her on her way to school" and leaving notes on her car when it was parked outside. 

The report goes on to say Pearson harassed Schemitz on social media and although he was blocked, Pearson created fake accounts to continue messaging her. 

Rogé stated Pearson has been struggling with his mental health and made suicidal statements in the past. She told detectives she informed Pearson's mother about the situation and was told by his mother "she would handle it accordingly."

Rogé also explained Pearson had not made any credible threats towards Schemitz.

What happened?

On Saturday, Schemitz was with her mother and a few friends at Mr. Chubby's Wings when Pearson walked in. 

Casey Estep, who was eating with Schemitz and her mom at the restaurant shortly before the stabbing, told First Coast News that when Schemitz and her mom spotted Pearson, "They were like, 'Oh, we’ve got to go.'"

Estep said they asked for the check and tried to quietly leave, but before she could finish cashing out, Pearson took off running toward Schemitz and her mom.

Schemitz was stabbed about 15 times. Family members say she suffered damage to her spinal cord in the attack and is currently paralyzed. 

Rogé and Kennedy Armstrong, who jumped in to subdue the suspect, were both injured when they stepped in to help.

Pearson is charged with two counts of first-degree attempted premeditated murder and aggravated battery. Pearson's arrest warrant says he slit his throat after the stabbings -- he has been hospitalized since.

He is ordered not to have contact with any victims, possession of weapons or firearms and is required to have a GPS monitor. 

'Definitely premeditated' 

First Coast News spoke to Madison Schemitz' older sister Monday. She says Schemitz and Pearson dated, but have been broken up for a few months. 

"There were some issues in the past after they'd broken up, where he was threatening her safety. My mother was looking to get a restraining order against him, so this was definitely premeditated," Cruseta said. "Madison is a fighter, you know. She’s going to make it through this, and I know she is going to walk out of this hospital," Schemitz' sister Tatiana Cruceta said.  

The report says Rogé wanted to have the incidents documented in the interest of wanting to obtain an injunction.

'It could have been prevented'

Betty Griffin Center Community educator Jeff Gatlin teaches high school students about healthy and unhealthy relationships and coaches' softball at a St. Johns County High School. He says what happened to Madison hits close to home. 

"She was a great softball player. She's a good infielder, strong ballplayer, great kid, great person," Community Educator Jeff Gatlin said. 

Gatlin says an injunction is not guaranteed but could have helped.

"It could have been prevented in that situation, because they could have called law enforcement as soon as he would not be allowed to be on the same premises. Once that injunction for protection is filed, it's just a piece of paper, but it allows our law enforcement to do their job. Our local sheriff, Sheriff Hardwick and his men and women, they have a very strong stance against dating violence, domestic violence and stalking," Gatlin said. 

Gatlin says one in three woman experience unhealthy relationships at some point in their life. 

"It's simple things like name calling. Someone may call them a name, look at body language, it can be over calling, over texting. What is their body language saying? Do they look anxious, upset, concerned when they get that text message or that phone call? Or when that person comes around? Or when that person calls them a name? Or do they laugh? Are they comfortable with that? Just watch the body language, watch the situations and see how they react to what's being done to them," Gatlin explained.

"Domestic violence and dating violence have the same characteristic. It's power and control. It's always going to be based on one person trying to gain control over the other person and to overpower them. They will do it electronically, they'll do it by isolating them from their friends, trying to isolate them from their family, and in any way, shape or form that they can so it can just look like someone that's in love. But if there's any power and control, then it's dating violence at the core," Gatlin said. 

The report noted concerns with Pearson’s mental health, including allegedly made suicidal statements. Gatlin says it's important for parents to talk to their teenagers about their relationships. 

"I tell friends and parents alike, have the hard conversations, talk about the relationships, look for those things that you know just shouldn't be going on in a relationship and if they find themselves in an unhealthy relationship, let them know it's not their fault, and they deserve much better," Gatlin said.

Two GoFundMe pages have been created for the family, one by friends of Schemitz’s mother and one by supporters of her father, but both are legitimate. Jointly, they have raised almost $82,000 so far. 

A third GoFundMe was created for Armstrong, but Armstrong's mother said while the family appreciates the gesture, treatment for his injuries will be covered by insurance and they do not need the money.


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