BENNINGTON — A Shaftsbury man was held without bail Monday after being accused of assaulting his girlfriend on multiple occasions.
Shaun P. Caccamo, 38, pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court to three felony counts of first degree aggravated domestic assault with prior conviction, second degree unlawful restraint, and misdemeanor counts of interfering with access to emergency services, and attempted unlawful mischief. He was charged as a habitual offender, meaning that if he's convicted of a new felony, the state could ask for a maximum life sentence.
According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Alexander Saxby, on Nov. 21 at 2:31 a.m. he went to a home in Shaftsbury after a friend of Caccamo's girlfriend called to say Caccamo had punched the window out of his girlfriend's car. The girlfriend then got on the phone and said her brother was coming to confront Caccamo.
Police reached the home before the woman's brother did and found Caccamo in a vehicle with his hand wrapped. He was bleeding and had blood on his clothes. In the car with him was his mother.
Caccamo told police there had been an argument between him and his girlfriend and that he'd cut his hand while trying to repair her car window. It broke while he was pushing it back into place. He said he believes his girlfriend has been cheating on him and that she is on drugs.
Saxby followed Caccamo and his mother to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington where he received treatment for his hand. Saxby then went to the Bennington Police Department to meet with the woman. She had some blood on her clothes which she said was Caccamo's.
She said that she and Caccamo had been arguing and that he'd been abusive. This had prompted her to leave their Shaftsbury residence. She came back when Caccamo's mother convinced her to come collect her things and that Caccamo had calmed down. She said Caccamo became upset when she received a text message from her brother while at the house. He took her phone and blocked her from leaving the house when she tried to go. She got the phone back and made it to her car. He followed her and punched out the rear driver's side window.
She said he has threatened to kill her and her children in the past and is unpredictable.
The woman told police about an incident on Nov. 12 where Caccamo grabbed her arm and threw her to the ground, leaving a bruise. He also followed her to her car with a BB gun and claimed she'd run over his foot, although she doesn't think she did. She described another incident on Nov. 10 when he grabbed her by the throat and threw her down.
She said Caccamo is controlling, telling her what to wear, where she can go, and regularly accuses her of cheating on him.
Saxby spoke to Caccamo again and was given a more detailed version of the same story as earlier.
Later, police found a BB gun, like the woman described, at the Shaftsbury residence while supervising the woman retrieving her belongings. The woman said she wished to clarify her previous statements, saying she had been pressured by her friends. She said Caccamo never touched her. Later, she said everything she'd said before was true, but that it was her fault. She said Caccamo punched her window out because she was intoxicated and he was worried. The bruise on her arm, she said, was caused by him when he grabbed her while she was assaulting him.
She told police she did not want Caccamo to go to jail — He had been released from jail in September, according to the affidavit — and that he's fine when he's not drinking.
Saxby wrote that she did not offer specifics on what parts of her statement she wished to change, only that he never assaulted her.