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Police Say WRJ Man Punched, Choked Deputy

  • Jeremy Guerin is arraigned in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt., on August 3, 2017, on two felony counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. At right is Guerin's attorney, Nikki South. (Valley News - Jordan Cuddemi) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, August 04, 2017

White River Junction — Officials say a Windsor County sheriff’s deputy is recovering after a 36-year-old White River Junction man allegedly beat her up and put her in a “chokehold” after she responded to a call for help at an apartment in Bridgewater.

Deputy Kirsten Murphy suffered injuries to her head and face, as well as her arms, shoulders and left knee, Windsor County Sheriff Michael Chamberlain said in a telephone interview on Thursday evening.

“She took some pretty good hits. She is pretty sore,” Chamberlain said, adding that if it weren’t for bystanders on scene, the outcome could have been much worse.

Jeremy Guerin, who currently is homeless, pleaded not guilty in Windsor Superior Court on Thursday to two felony counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, as well as misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, unlawful mischief, resisting arrest and two counts of simple assault.

Judge Thomas Devine ordered him held on $25,000 bail, saying the affidavit “paints a picture of someone who is pretty volatile.”

In court on Thursday, prosecutors focused on Guerin’s extensive Vermont criminal record, which includes 12 misdemeanor convictions, some of them stemming from failures to appear in court, and one felony conviction. He has three open cases in Windsor County and also has a record in New Hampshire and has an active arrest warrant out of California.

Guerin’s public defender, Nikki South, advocated against high bail, noting Guerin has family in the Upper Valley and that the appearance failures were “quite old in nature.”

Assistant Windsor County State’s Attorney Glenn Barnes called the evidence in the case “great.”

According to a Windsor County Sheriff’s Department affidavit filed in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Murphy responded to a request for assistance from an apartment on Mill Road in Bridgewater around 8 p.m. When she arrived, she found Guerin pounding on the door of the apartment and trying to enter it. His wife, Stephanie Guerin, and another man, Connor Hersey, were inside and didn’t want Guerin to enter, the affidavit states.

Earlier in the evening, Murphy had a run-in with Guerin, who allegedly was walking down Route 4 with an open beer can. She asked him to dump it out, to which he responded with obscenities and walked away, the affidavit states.

At the apartment, Murphy told Guerin to leave and when he didn’t comply, she attempted to take him into custody for disorderly conduct. A confrontation ensued and Guerin “squared off in a fighting stance” and resisted arrest, the affidavit states.

Murphy told police in an interview her knee “popped” and the pair went to the ground where he hit her, pulled her hair and held her in a chokehold to the point where her breathing was restricted.

Meanwhile, two people — one of them Hersey — stepped in. One of the men called for backup while the other tried to induce Guerin to direct his aggression at him, rather than at Murphy.

“I was concerned he was going to attempt to get my gun,” Murphy said, according to the affidavit. “I sprayed Guerin with (pepper spray) and managed to get him handcuffed.”

Murphy was transported to Mt. Ascutney Hospital for treatment and has been released.

While Guerin was being booked, he told a court clerk that he was “sorry about hitting that deputy. I really beat the (expletive) out of her,” according to the affidavit. At that time, he provided a breath test, which showed he had a blood alcohol content of .116.

Guerin has a pretrial conference scheduled for Dec. 5 in the White River Junction courthouse.

Jordan Cuddemi can be reached at jcuddemi@vnews.com or 603-727-3248.