Windsor Man Charged After Quarrel Ends With Stabbing
Arraigned in Windsor Superior Court on Nov. 12, 2013, Robert Whitcomb, 26, of Windsor, Vt., was charged with assault with a deadly weapon. (Eric Francis photograph)
Windsor — A fight at a home on Bavier Avenue Monday night sent one man to the hospital with stab wounds to his neck, police said, and another man to the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, Vt.
When police arrived at the small white Cape at the corner of Ascutney Street, William Plaster had suffered “serious and life-threatening” injuries from being slashed with a beer bottle, Windsor Police Chief Stephen Soares said in a news release Tuesday.
Plaster, 31, who was airlifted Monday night to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center from Mt. Ascutney Hospital, was reported in stable condition Tuesday.
Authorities have charged Robert “Ty” Whitcomb, 26, with aggravated assault, a felony.
He turned himself in to police a half hour after the incident.
Whitcomb, of Windsor, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction. If convicted, he could be sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in prison.
Judge Harold Eaton Jr. ordered Whitcomb to be held on $7,500 bail, and he was transported to the prison in Springfield.
At 9 p.m. Monday, Windsor Patrol Sgt. James Beraldi responded to 2 Bavier Ave. for a reported stabbing and found Plaster bleeding profusely from the neck, according to a police affidavit.
Plaster was in “serious, grave condition,” and Beraldi wrote in the affidavit that he wasn’t sure Plaster would survive.
A short time later, an unarmed Whitcomb turned himself in at the Windsor Police Station, according to the affidavit.
Whitcomb told police he got into a fight with Plaster and hit him with a beer bottle, according to the affidavit.
Whitcomb had blood spattered on his face and had blood on his hands and a blood stain on his shirt, Beraldi wrote.
Whitcomb told police that the fight was partially over a woman and that Plaster hit him first and then he hit Plaster on the left side of his face with a beer bottle, according to the affidavit. The two men fought on the floor and Whitcomb swung the beer bottle and hit Plaster again before fleeing, according to the affidavit.
Whitcomb told police that Plaster outweighed him.
“I was afraid to fight him,” Whitcomb was quoted as saying in the affidavit. “I took the cowardly way out by grabbing the beer bottle.”
Whitcomb told police that both men had been drinking and that there was a crack cocaine pipe inside the home, as well as marijuana and prescription pain medication.
Officers requested a search warrant for the home to look for evidence such as blood and hair, as well as illegal narcotics.
The home on Bavier Avenue has been owned since April by Jason Lepisko, who was at the house at the time of the fight, according to the police affidavit. Whitcomb’s address is listed as State Street in Windsor.
Soares would not comment on whether Plaster would also be charged.
State and Windsor police cruisers were parked at the scene most of the day and yellow police tape surrounded the property of the two-story home.
The house, surrounded by yellow police tape, was dark around 5 p.m. Tuesday when Lepisko answered the door.
“I have no comment,” he said when asked about the incident.
In a written statement provided to police, Whitcomb said he, Plaster, Lepisko and a woman began drinking at 3 p.m., and continued to drink throughout the afternoon.
At one point, Plaster and his girlfriend began fighting in the garage, according to Whitcomb’s statement. Whitcomb told police that Plaster allegedly placed his hands around the woman’s neck and began to choke her. Whitcomb yelled for Plaster to stop, and Plaster allegedly told Whitcomb to get out and threw a beer bottle at him, which missed, according to the statement.
Plaster allegedly accused the woman of cheating on him with Whitcomb and eventually turned to Whitcomb and accused Whitcomb of sleeping “with his girl,” according to the statement.
Whitcomb wrote that he grabbed a beer bottle and a nearby tray and told Plaster to back up and said, “I’m not the enemy.” A fight ensued, and Whitcomb alleged that both men were struggling for the broken beer bottle, according to the statement.
Whitcomb noticed there was a lot of blood and told Plaster, “We are both going to stop and stand up,” according to the statement. After they stood up and a friend started to dial 911, Whitcomb wrote, “I got really scared. I ran into town and then decided to turn myself in by coming down to Windsor P.D.”
Whitcomb has a criminal record, according to court records, including a 2010 misdemeanor conviction for disorderly conduct.
Sarah Brubeck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-727-3223. Valley News Correspondent Patrick O’Grady contributed to this story.