Thursday February 14, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A homeless woman was charged Tuesday with allegedly being abusive towards her 18-month-old child while at a local shelter.

Adrienne Bowen, 22, who lives at 6 Bank Street in North Bennington, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of domestic assault, and cruelty to a child under 10 years old. The Bank Street address is a shelter run by the Bennington Coalition for the Homeless.

Bowen was released on conditions she abide by a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew at the shelter, not have threatening, harassing, or abusive contact with her child, not use corporal punishment on the child, and to obey a Department of Children and Families safety plan.

Judge Cortland Corsones set the hours of the curfew in accordance with the request of state prosecutors, saying it would provide a level of informal supervision which would allow Bowen to have normal contact with the child and let the court feel comfortable with it.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Detective Anthony Silvestro, on Feb. 9 he was notified by DCF about concerns they had over Bowen allegedly abusing her daughter.

Silvestro said he and DCF Investigator Kyle Hoover met with an employee at the Bank Street shelter they would only identify as "L.B." Silvestro said L.B. was the person who made the report to DCF based on what L.B. had heard from other residents at the shelter.

Silvestro said he and Hoover spoke to "J.C." who they only identified through initials and said was 23 years old and a resident of the shelter. J.C. told them that Bowen is often verbally abusive to her daughter and threatens her. She described an incident that happened on Feb. 8 in which Bowen told her daughter to get off a wooden bench. Bowen allegedly walked over to the child, grabbed her by the hand, and lifted her off the ground. According to J.C. Bowen twisted the child's arm and dropped her onto the floor where the child hit her head. According to J.C., Bowen kicked the child in the foot before walking away.

Silvestro said he spoke to Bowen, who said the child often causes her stress and sometimes she slaps the child's hands. Bowen told police that during the incident in question, she picked the child up by putting her arm around her, then set her on the floor, where she fell backwards. Bowen then said she picked the child up by the arm but not out of anger. Bowen told police she did not want her child taken away so she had not made an accurate statement initially about how she picked the child up. She denied kicking the child.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr