BENNINGTON -- Police said a Union Street man is accused of using an offering of Greek salad to disguise a punch.

William Nichols, 22, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to burglary of an occupied dwelling, and simple assault. He was released under the condition he not contact the alleged victim or the witnesses.

According to an affidavit by Manchester Police Officer Daniel Steere, on Friday he was dispatched to a home on Nottingham Park after a woman said her ex-boyfriend, Nichols, had assaulted a friend of hers there.

Steere spoke to the alleged victim, Frank Morales, whose left eye was swollen and his lip bloodied. Morales said Nichols showed up at the front door with a Greek salad and asked him if he wanted it. Morales took the salad and was then punched in the head twice. They wrestled each other to the ground until a roommate broke up the fight.

The woman who contacted police said she and Nichols had been texting earlier about a necklace he had given her for Christmas that she said she lost. According to her, Nichols accused Morales of taking it and said he should be "hospitalized."

Police found Nichols the following day. "I was wondering when you guys would find me," is what he said upon seeing Steere, according to the affidavit. "You can talk to my lawyer," was his other statement.

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