BARRE — A Graniteville man is accused of driving into a house on purpose.
Derek Stowe, 19, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to a felony count of aggravated assault with a weapon and seven misdemeanors including gross negligent operation, disorderly conduct, leaving the scene of a crash that damaged property and four counts of violating conditions of release.
If convicted, Stowe faces a maximum sentence of 21 years and 60 days in prison. He was ordered held at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury until he can be released to the custody of a responsible adult.
Barre City Police Officer James McGowan said in his affidavit he received a report Monday about a man in a vehicle who had tried to run people over and hit a porch on Branch Street. McGowan said the vehicle was a Toyota Avalon registered to Stowe.
McGowan spoke to witnesses at the scene and noticed the lattice under the home’s porch was broken, and there was a tire track in the mud leading up to the porch. No one was injured in the incident.
Police found the vehicle parked on Warren Street, according to court records. McGowan said the vehicle had damage to its front end, including a cracked right headlight.
McGowan located Stowe on Warren Street. Stowe told police he went to the Branch Street residence to confront someone who accused him of having sex with a minor. He told police he wanted to get into a fist fight but no one would fight him, the affidavit says.
Stowe told police he went to leave but didn’t want to without “leaving an impression” so he drove into the house.
McGowan said Stowe admitted he knew he shouldn’t not have done it and felt badly.
The officer returned to Branch Street and talked to the resident, who was home at the time. They told McGowan the whole house shook when Stowe hit it.
A witness told McGowan people had to scatter to avoid getting hit by Stowe’s vehicle.
Court records show Stowe was previously charged with a misdemeanor count of domestic assault, to which he pleaded not guilty in October and which led to one of the violating release conditions charges in this most recent case.
That case’s status is unclear because it appears to be in family court as a youthful offender case. Court clerks said there was no public information available.
McGowan said in another affidavit that Stowe has conditions of release in the domestic assault case barring him from contact with one of the witnesses at the scene. Stowe must also stay 300 feet away from that person, can’t abuse or harass them and can’t engage in threatening or violent behavior.