KEITH WHITCOMB JR., Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- A Shaftsbury man was held without bail Monday after being accused of breaking his girlfriend’s arm when their fight caused them both to fall down a flight of stairs.

Ryan McCauley, 31, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to first degree aggravated domestic assault, and a misdemeanor count of interference with access to emergency services. He will be held until Wednesday when a bail hearing will determine if he is to be released under conditions while his case is pending.

According to an affidavit by Vermont State Sgt. Trooper Jesse Robson, on Friday at 11:55 p.m. he was dispatched to a home on Route 7A in Shaftsbury because someone had dialed 911 from there.

Robson was let inside the building where he saw a woman crying and asking for an ambulance as her arm appeared disfigured. It was later determined to have been broken. McCauley put his hands on Robson’s chest when Robson approached the woman, so McCauley was placed in handcuffs. McCauley was angry and acting aggressive so Robson summoned backup.

He learned from the woman that both she and McCauley had been drinking and went to get a meal from a fast-food restaurant. They took their meals home and McCauley became enraged when the woman was not hungry. She said he forced himself on top of her, then dragged her out of a room by her legs. She went to flee, and was pushed part way down the stairs. She said McCauley picked her up by the hair and threw her the rest of the way down, losing his balance and landing on top of her. This caused her arm to break.

McCauley told police he was the victim and demanded an ambulance crew see to a thumb injury he sustained. He said if he had in fact laid hands on the woman she would be dead. Troopers said McCauley was highly intoxicated and exhibited drastic mood swings.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com @KWhitcombjr.