BARRE — Police say a Colchester man assaulted a woman while she was driving.

Thomas F. Savard Jr., 34, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Washington County criminal court in Barre to a felony count of first-degree aggravated domestic assault and misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, domestic assault, unlawful trespass, interference with access to emergency services and disorderly conduct. If convicted, Savard faces a maximum sentence of 19 years and three months in prison. He was ordered held at Northeast Correctional Complex in St. Johnsbury on $50,000 bail.

For the assault charge, Trooper Joseph Szarejko, of the Vermont State Police, said in his affidavit an assault was reported in Waterbury April 21. Szarejko said he met with the victim who reported Savard had assaulted her.

She told Szarejko Savard was intoxicated and they got into an argument. At one point the victim reported Savard bit her on the shoulder, according to court records. The victim told Szarejko Savard also punched her in the arm.

Szarejko said he took the victim back to the Middlesex barracks for more questioning when she told him Savard had slapped her in the face five or six times. Szarejko noted the victim had a bruise on her eyelid which was swollen.

During the altercation the victim told Szarejko Savard threatened to kill her several times. She told Szarejko she was driving with Savard at the time of the argument and he tried to grab the steering wheel multiple times. She also reported Savard choked her and she almost passed out while driving, according to court records.

For the unlawful trespass charge, Trooper Daniel Bohnyak, also of the state police, said in his affidavit for that case a report came in May 12 stating Savard had shown up at the home of the woman he is accused of assaulting in April. The victim told police Savard showed up at her home looking to pick up some of his things. At one point the victim told police Savard took her cellphone, according to court records. Bohnyak said the victim reported she told Savard to leave and to give her phone back but he refused. Bohnyak said the victim reported she had told Savard she was going to call the police when he showed up and that’s when he took her phone so she couldn’t make that call.

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