KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A North Branch Street woman was charged Monday with striking a police officer in the face as he an other officers arrested her on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
Maegan Trapani, 27, pleaded not guilty to a aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol. She was released on conditions she abide by a 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Amanda Thompson, on Sunday 11:31 p.m. she was dispatched to North Branch Street for a reported fight. There she spoke to Amanda Coon, who said she was in her mother’s car when Trapani and friends pulled in. Trapani is Coon’s neighbor. Donna Flasher, who was with Trapani, got out of the car and banged on the passenger side window of Coon’s vehicle, yelling at Rebecca Reynolds who was inside. Coon said Reynolds and Flash fought, and when police showed up, Flasher and Trapani ran inside Trapani’s apartment.
Bennington Police Sgt. Michael Plusch said in an affidavit that he was also on the scene and went to speak with Trapani who was in her apartment. He said he could smell alcohol on her and saw her drinking a beer. He said he consulted with the Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Office about obtaining a search warrant for the home, but was told by State’s Attorney Erica Marthage that because Trapani was altering her blood-alcohol level he had grounds to enter the apartment without a warrant.
Plusch wrote that Justin Cyr was in the apartment and attempted to hold the door shut so Plusch and other officers could not enter. He said he was able to push past Cyr and allow Officer Jason Burnham and Cpl. Joshua Stemp into the apartment to arrest Trapani. Plusch said Trapani hit him twice in the face with a closed fist as she was being arrested. Plusch said he struck Trapani in the legs and abdomen to stop her from fighting, while Stemp wrote in his affidavit that he hit Trapani in the head thrice with his fist to get her to comply. She was also sprayed with pepper spray.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.