Police: Drunk woman crashed into school fenceAugust 29,2013Police: Drunk woman crashed into fence
BENNINGTON — A local woman is facing a felony charge after police said they believed she was driving under the influence of alcohol on July 19, crashed into a fence at Molly Stark Elementary School and left the scene of the crash without alerting authorities.
Stephanie A. Surdam, 34, of Bennington, was arraigned on Monday in Bennington criminal court on a felony charge of driving under the influence of alcohol and misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of a crash and negligent driving.
Surdam, who pleaded innocent to the charges, was released without bail. She was charged with a felony for driving under the influence of alcohol based on previous convictions for the same charge in September 2000 and November 2004.
In an affidavit Officer Benjamin Lackey, of the Bennington Police Department, said he met with Surdam around 6:20 a.m. July 20 on Willowbrook Drive. Surdam said she had left her car there overnight because she had been drinking the night before but said when she went to get the car, it had been vandalized and the tires slashed.
A man living in the area told police that day that he had seen Surdam the night before, banging on the door of an apartment with a hammer. He said she got upset when she saw him and his girlfriend watching the incident and attempted to start a fight with them.
The man said he shone a flashlight in her eyes to stop her and she drove off. The man said he believed Surdam was “highly intoxicated” and said he watched her drive into the fence at the school.
After checking the fence and finding damage, as well as a broken windshield wiper that police believe came from Surdam’s car, police concluded that the damage to the car that Surdam claimed was vandalism was probably from the collision with the fence.
Surdam declined to give police a sample of her breath, Lackey said.MORE IN This Just In
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1932, President Hoover orders the Army to evict bonus marchers from Anacostia Flats; author Malcolm Lowry born this day, as is Jackie Kennedy and Mike Bloomfield; Stephen Crane on consuming one's own heart.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Earth barely avoids being blasted by immense solar flare in 2012, astrophysicists say next time might not be so lucky.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1898, Nelson Miles leads American troops into Puerto Rico during Spanish-American War, Bob Dylan electrifies Newport Folk Festival in 1965, author and longshoreman Eric Hoffer born this day in 1902.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: No charges to be filed inconnection with crash of city police cruiser, farmers group turn to Internet to raise money for solar project, Street Talk polls passersby about legal marijuana.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information for Friday, July 25, and easily digestible news tidbits: Mysterious enormous hole in the Siberian tundra baffles scientists.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Ever wonder why the otherwise straight-lined Appalachian chain's got a big crimp in it in Pennsylvania and and New York?