Manchester man denies charges; held without bail
By PATRICK McArdle
Staff writer | February 19,2014
BENNINGTON — A Manchester man was ordered held without bail Monday after police said he assaulted a woman Thursday in Manchester.
Joseph A. Tisi, 42, of Manchester, was arraigned Tuesday in Bennington criminal court on a felony charge of first-degree aggravated domestic assault and a misdemeanor charge of domestic assault.
Tisi pleaded innocent to the charges. He was ordered held without bail until a hearing can be scheduled to determine whether he will be given a chance to be released pending the resolution of charges.
During the arraignment, Bennington County Deputy State’s Attorney Jennifer Barrett said Tisi had faced similar charges in Rutland County. However, she said the Rutland County state’s attorney’s office has different policies than those in Bennington County so when the woman recanted in the Rutland County case, the charges were dropped.
In an affidavit, Manchester Police Officer Paul McGann said police were called around 10:45 p.m. Thursday to a Main Street store. A woman at the store said she had been assaulted in a River Road home earlier that night and came to the store so she could call police and make a report.
McGann said the woman had no coat or shoes when police arrived.
According to the affidavit, the woman told McGann that Tisi had assaulted her in front of her three children. Tisi is the father of one of the children.
The woman claimed that Tisi had been drinking alcohol “most of the day” Thursday. She said she was now afraid of what he would do to the children.
Manchester Police Officer Christopher Mason, who also responded to the call, said he went to the River Road home to speak with Tisi and check on the children.
When Tisi didn’t answer, Mason and a Vermont State Police trooper who was assisting Mason, were given permission to enter by the woman who told police she was assaulted.
Mason said Tisi was taken into custody without incident. Tisi declined to speak with police after he was taken to the Manchester police station, but Mason said Tisi told him that the woman “has done this before and that the case was dismissed.”
Tisi also told Mason that he had considered getting a restraining order against the woman because he believed “he has been a victim for some time.”
McGann said in his affidavit that he took pictures of the woman’s face which Barrett presented to Judge David Howard during Tuesday’s arraignment. Barrett said the pictures did not reflect the assault for which Tisi was charged with a felony, which was described as a choking incident, but showed “many strikes to her face and bruising.”
The state also plans to file a charge that Tisi violated his conditions of release because he had been ordered to report to court Friday, not Tuesday.
Attorney Katherine Lamson, who represented Tisi, said he hadn’t come to court in Bennington because he would have had to drive from Manchester in the snowstorm. She said Tisi had also called the courthouse Friday and heard a recording that said criminal court proceedings had been delayed.
Howard, however, said the recording hadn’t been activated until around 3 p.m. when an order came in to close state office buildings. Tisi had been ordered to come to court for arraignment Friday around 12:30 p.m.