BARRE — A Waterville man has been charged with pulling a knife on his girlfriend during a fight Wednesday in Montpelier.
Austen J. LeClair, 21, pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony aggravated domestic assault with a weapon, resisting arrest and driving under the influence in Washington County criminal court in Barre. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 18 years in prison and a $26,250 fine.
According to an affidavit, police responded to a report of a domestic assault happening in a blue truck in a parking lot on Mill Road, off Route 12 North. Police say they found LeClair and a woman in the truck and told LeClair, who was driving, to shut the truck off and get out.
Police say LeClair instead started driving out of the parking lot, toward the cruisers. He slowed down when he came close to the cruisers and an officer opened the driver’s door and pulled LeClair out, according to the affidavit. Police say a 5-inch-long knife fell out of the truck with LeClair and that he became combative and resisted arrest.
LeClair was eventually taken into custody. In court Thursday, he had a wound on the bridge of his nose and what appeared to be blood on his jacket.
Police said the woman told them Wednesday that LeClair had elbowed her in the arm and punched her in the head when they were arguing. She also told police LeClair pulled out the knife during the argument but that she was able to grab it and keep hold of it until the police arrived, at which point she was unsure how he got the knife back.
The woman told police she and LeClair had been dating a week and that his behavior that day was out of the ordinary. She said they had been fighting most of the day and that at one point during an argument his voice had become “deep and demonic,” according to the affidavit.
A competency hearing for LeClair is to be set, at the request of his attorney, Rosie Chase. LeClair is free without bail.MORE IN Central Vermont
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