BARRE — A Granite City woman with a violent history has been charged with hitting a man last month with a vehicle she was driving.
Jennifer M. Caplin, 33, pleaded not guilty to felony aggravated assault, driving under the influence for the fourth time, a felony, and driving with a suspended license in Washington County criminal court in Barre on Thursday.
If convicted, she faces a maximum of 27 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.
According to the Barre police affidavit, on March 16, Caplin was driving a black Mercury Milan in the city when she and a passenger, Heather Brown, started talking to Adam Huot on Mount Street. Huot told police Brown grabbed his shirt and Caplin started driving, dragging him down the street.
Police said Huot told them he got free and ran away from the car but that Caplin followed him in the car and struck him when he ran into a driveway. Huot said he “flew up in the air” and landed on his backside, according to the affidavit.
Huot told police he then got up and ran onto a lawn across Perry Street and that Caplin followed him and tried to hit him again. He said he jumped out of the way and Caplin drove off.
Huot told police his back and shoulders hurt and he was taken to the hospital.
Police said there were marks in the driveway where Huot said he was hit by the car, as well as marks on the lawn from the car. Police said the car had a dent on the right rear side and the passenger side mirror was hanging off.
Brown, who police said smelled strongly of alcohol, told police Caplin was driving by when Huot hit the window. She told police Caplin followed Huot and that Brown asked him why he hit the vehicle. Brown said Huot denied hitting the window and then called the police.
Police said Caplin denied driving the vehicle and that Huot, Brown and she got into an argument. Caplin told police Huot punched the vehicle and punched her in the left ear.
Caplin has a lengthy criminal history, including felony convictions for heroin sale, escape and driving under the influence. She also has 27 misdemeanor convictions, including three simple assaults on a police officer, two simple assaults, two domestic assaults, two incidents of disorderly conduct and three incidents of unlawful mischief.
Caplin is being held on $5,000 bail.
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