A Poultney man charged with slamming a woman’s head into a windshield during an argument denied the charge in Rutland criminal court this week.
Ronald J. Vaughn, 62, pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault and was released at the end of the hearing Wednesday on conditions that included he stay away from and not harass the woman he allegedly assaulted.
A 20-year-old woman told police that Vaughn assaulted her at around 6 p.m. Tuesday in the driveway of 322 College St. in Poultney, according to court records.
The woman told police she had arrived at the house shortly after 5 p.m. to find Vaughn inside. She said Vaughn asked her to go to the store to buy him cigarettes. When she replied that she had no money, she said he insulted her to the point that she decided to leave.
But as she was walking toward the car, she said, Vaughn ran after her and pushed her to the ground.
When she tried to get back to her feet, she told police, he grabbed her by the back of her head and slammed her face into her car windshield.
That account was supported by the woman’s friend, Denver Griswold, 21, who told police she stepped between Vaughn and the woman to end the assault. Trooper Jason Johnson of the Vermont State Police also said the woman’s upper lip was slightly swollen and she had minor bruising on one arm.
In an interview with police, Vaughn acknowledged arguing with the woman but he denied assaulting her — a denial echoed by his wife and 35-year-old stepson who witnessed the incident.
Vicki Vaughn and James Vaughn told police the woman tried to strike Ronald Vaughn during the argument and that Vaughn held the woman’s arms to prevent her from hitting him, but he never struck her or pushed her head into the windshield.
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