WRJ man charged with choking female cop
Sheriff's deputy treated at the hospital for multiple injuries
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A long-time White River Junction resident is facing serious charges following a fight with a deputy sheriff who was trying to arrest him late Wednesday afternoon on a lawn beside Route 4 next to the Bridgewater Fire Station.
The situation was reportedly so violent that passersby on Route 4 stopped their cars and ran to aid Windsor County Deputy Sheriff Kirsten Murphy even as state troopers from Rutland, Royalton, Sharon and Woodstock came flying into town from all directions to back her up.
Deputy Murphy had to be treated at a hospital Wednesday night following the melee which took place out in front of a small apartment house that sits between the Mill Mall complex and the Bridgewater Fire Station.
Jeremy Guerin, 36, a long-time resident of downtown White River Junction who was listed as “homeless” on his court paperwork, pleaded innocent on Thursday afternoon to two felony counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, one of which was for causing serious bodily injury and the other was for attempting to prevent her from doing her duties.
Guerin also pleaded innocent to accompanying misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, unlawful mischief, resisting arrest, simple assault, and simple assault on a police officer by physical menace.
At the conclusion of his arraignment Guerin was held for lack of $25,000 bail and transported back to the Springfield jail.
Murphy told investigators that the struggle began shortly before 7 p.m. when she tried to handcuff Guerin but he “turned toward me and squared off in a fighting stance.”
“I told him ‘Stop! Don’t do it’ (but) Guerin began to struggle…to the point my knee popped and we went to the ground,” Deputy Murphy recalled in a transcript of an interview conducted Wednesday night by Windsor County Sgt. Phil Call which was filed with the court.
“During this time he hit me, I don’t know how many times. He pulled my hair and had me in a choke hold by putting his arm around my throat and restricted my breathing,” Murphy continued. “I was struggling with him, thinking ‘If he gets me on my back I’m in trouble and I’ve had it.’ People were gathering and traffic was driving by, slowing down (on Route 4), and some cars even stopped. Jeremy was kicking and flailing, yelling ‘(expletive) let go of me! You (expletive)!”
Deputy Murphy said that even as men were intervening and trying to convince Guerin to back off, “I was concerned, was he going to attempt to get my gun? I sprayed Guerin with (pepper spray) and managed to get him handcuffed (but he) continued to fight and attempted to kick and yell obscenities. He used the ‘F-bomb’ more than once every sentence (and) continued being resistant and combative as best he could, including spitting, and he tried to prevent his being put in the cruiser by stiffing his body and wrestling around. Once in the cruiser Guerin continued yelling, swearing, kicking and banging his head.”
In her post-incident interview, shortly before she was transported to the hospital, Deputy Murphy was asked by Sgt. Hall to detail her injuries and said, “My head hurts over my eye, my knee is sore, I’ve got a headache and I’m lame.”
Sgt. Hall said Murphy had several visible bruises on her arms and a notable bump over her eyebrow as well as a swollen and discolored knee cap.
The sergeant wrote that when he went into the Woodstock Police Department to interview Guerin he found him lying on the floor in shackles wearing only shorts and “spit hood” that had been placed over his head.
Sgt. Hall said Guerin “was yelling, swearing and berating all the officers present” and eventually took a breath test which showed a 0.116 percent blood alcohol level.
In her report, Deputy Murphy said the evening’s incidents began when she spotted “Guerin walking down Route 4 in Bridgewater with an open Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboy can of beer in his hand. I told him to dump it as he cannot have an open container in public. He threw it and yelled ‘Why the (expletive) don’t you leave me alone and let me do what I want?’.”
A short time later, Murphy was called to the apartments at 49 Mill Road for a reported disturbance and found “Guerin at the top of the stairs pounding on the door window and yelling all kinds of obscenities. The window to the door broke and Guerin continued yelling and swearing at (his wife) and Connor Hersey who were inside. Stephanie Guerin was on the floor in a fetal position holding the door closed against Jeremy’s onslaught. Conner Hersey was afraid and was holding a knife to defend them if Jeremy Guerin gained access.”
Murphy said it was at that point she told Guerin to stop and leave and got out her handcuffs and began attempting to arrest him.
Bret Tardif, a witness at a nearby residence, later gave police a sworn written statement saying “I was walking in my driveway when I heard very, very loud yelling across the road. I saw the man with no shirt on hitting the female officer several times with a closed fist. She sprayed pepper spray and the man was still going after her like crazy. Her radio was on the ground and I came over to help the officer get a better handle on things by trying to calm him down. (Deputy Murphy) gave me her keys to go get the phone from her cruiser for a call to get back up. I stayed with her until the other officers arrived. Throughout the whole time he tried kicking me and was using very, very foul language but my main goal was to help the female officer out of harm’s way.”
Guerin, who has nine violations of probation on his record, has been awaiting trial on felony charges of drunk driving - third offense - which he pleaded innocent to back in May after Hartford Police pulled him over in the parking lot of the Shady Lawn Motel for driving despite having a suspended license due to a previous DUI conviction. At the time, Hartford Police said Guerin allegedly admitted that he was "baked" on marijuana before he blew a 0.10 percent blood alcohol level on a roadside breath test, which would be in excess of Vermont's 0.08 legal limit for driving.
Jeremy Guerin faces a maximum potential penalty of up to 38 years in jail if he were to be convicted of all the charges now pending against him
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