BENNINGTON -- A Gage Street woman is facing misdemeanor charges after police say she attacked a woman for sitting in her bus seat.

Lisa Dunnells, 32, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to simple assault, and disorderly conduct. She was released under the conditions she not contact Kristy Prouty, the woman she is accused of attacking, and may not use Green Mountain Express.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Robert Murawski, on May 20 at 6:42 a.m. he met Prouty on Abbott Street where she said Dunnells had assaulted her on the bus. She said Dunnells got on the bus and took issue with the seat Prouty was in, so Prouty moved back. This did not mollify Dunnells, however, as Dunnells then punched her in the face, pulled her hair, and spit on her. Prouty also said she was bitten on the finger by Dunnells before other passengers could pull her off.

Dunnells told police other passengers were calling her a "snitch" and a "rat" and decided to hit Prouty for the things she was saying. She claimed Prouty and others then attacked her, knocking her down and stomping on her. She said this is when she bit Prouty, and also thought she had lost consciousness.

Police spoke to a number of witnesses who corroborated Prouty’s version of events. The video taken by a surveillance camera on the bus likewise did not support Dunnells’ story. It shows Dunnells attacking Prouty, who pushed Dunnells back only to be pulled by the hair onto Dunnells while other passengers intervened.


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