KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A 19--year-old woman was held without bail Monday after she pleaded not guilty in Bennington superior Court Criminal Division to several charges alleging she threatened a group of people with a knife, attacked them, and assaulted police after they arrested her.
Amber R. Butler pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary of an occupied dwelling, simple assault on a police officer, simple assault with fluids on a police officer, interference with access to emergency services, resisting arrest, simple assault, and violating conditions of release.
She is being held pending a competency evaluation, and $1,000 bail was placed on her for the non-felony charges.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Lawrence Cole, on Friday at 7:45 a.m. he was sent to Gage Street where someone had complained of loud arguing at an apartment. Cole said he went there and found Butler in the company of two people she is prohibited by a court order from having contact with. The court made not contacting them a condition of her release on July 23 when Butler pleaded not guilty to simple assault and domestic assault, charges which are still pending.
Cole wrote that Butler was released on a citation, but at 9:14 a.m. police were dispatched to School Street because callers reported Butler was attacking and threatening them. According to Cole, Officers John Behan and David Faden entered the home and Faden was struck twice in the head by Butler as they subdued her. Faden was also spit on by Butler, and part of his uniform was ripped. Cole said Butler threatened to harm Faden after she was free.
Cole said he spoke to Tiffany Ruggles and her boyfriend Douglas Kramer. Ruggles said she and Kramer were asleep on the floor when they woke to see Butler there, yelling and accusing Ruggles of stealing her wallet. According to the affidavit, Ruggles told police Butler pushed a picture from the wall towards her face and kicked her before fetching a knife from the kitchen and coming back.
Kramer told police he tried to call them, but Butler ripped the telephone cord from the wall. He said at one point he got between Ruggles and Butler, and Butler raised the knife then threw it behind her. Kramer told police at one point Butler held a lighter near Ruggles’ hair, and he ended up being pushed into Ruggles by Butler. He said Butler also attempted to get Ruggles’ cell phone away from her, but she was able to contact police.
Cole wrote there was a third witness who only heard the altercation as they were confined to a bed in another room.