Saturday March 30, 2013

Man accused of assaulting girlfriend in argument over rent Story Body:

Man accused of assaulting girlfriend in argument over rent Story Body:

Man accused of assaulting girlfriend in argument over rent

BENNINGTON -- A Depot Street man is facing felony charges over allegations that he hit and strangled his ex-girlfriend in an argument over rent money.

Clark W. Salmon, 28, pleaded not guilty Friday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division to first degree aggravated domestic assault, and second degree unlawful restraint. He was released on conditions he not have contact with the woman he is accused of assaulting.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Sgt. Michael Plusch, on Wednesday shortly before 7 p.m. he spoke with a woman who said she had been dating Salmon up until four weeks ago. She went to ask Salmon about rent money she had given him, about $450, but he did not have it. The woman told police Salmon had spent it on drugs.

She said she yelled at Salmon and hit him in the face. He responded by grabbing her by the neck and hair before hitting her in the face. When she tried to call her friend using her cell phone, Salmon slapped it out of her hand. She then began gathering some items, left, then came back to get more but this time Salmon forced her into a chair and would not let her up. He finally did when she said she was calling her friend.


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The woman told police that when she was being strangled it was forceful enough to make her see black spots. Plusch saw a bruise under the woman's eye, swelling of her nose, and red marks on her neck.

Police were not able to locate Salmon that evening. It was not clear how he came to be in court Friday.

-- Keith Whitcomb Jr.

Man charged after fight with girlfriend

BENNINGTON -- A Bennington man pleaded not guilty Friday to allegedly hitting his ex-girlfriend and restraining her.

Zachary Harvill, 32, was charged with a felony count of unlawful restraint, and a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault. He was released on an unsecured $5,000 bail bond and ordered to not have contact with the alleged victim or go to the apartment where she lives.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Amanda Thompson, on Wednesday she spoke to a woman who said she had recently broken up with her boyfriend, Harvill, and that morning they had gotten into an argument. She said Harvill pushed her head back so she punched his leg and smacked his face. He pushed her on a bed and held her down for five minutes while she kicked him. He then punched her in the leg. The woman said he also took her phone but gave it back. While she was making a call, Harvill punched and twisted her leg. There was more fighting between the two, and the woman reporting having hit Harvill in the groin after he hit her in the face.

Harvill told police he pushed the woman by the head and held her on the bed for a few seconds in an attempt to calm her down as they had been in a verbal argument for much of the time. He said he could hear her on the phone with another person, then she pushed him before striking him in the groin. He told her he hoped she felt better and crawled to the bathroom where he stayed until she left.

-- Keith Whitcomb Jr.

Vt. House passes $5.2B budget plan

MONTPELIER (AP) -- The Vermont House of Representatives has approved a $5.2 billion budget plan recommended by the Democratic majority of the House Appropriations Committee.

Friday's 91-49 vote giving the budget final House approval broke largely along party lines.

Appropriations Chairwoman Martha Heath says the budget is "about hope and moving our state forward."

The spending plan will now be considered by the Senate. Republican Leader Don Turner says GOP members will work with the Senate.