Jeremy Guerin, 36, is facing multiple serious charges after he allegedly injured a Windsor County Sheriff’s Deputy in Bridgewater Corners as she was arresting him Wednesday evening. (Eric Francis Photo)
By Eric Francis, Standard Correspondent
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION – State troopers rushed into Bridgewater Corners on Wednesday from Rutland, Royalton, Sharon and Woodstock to help a Windsor County Sheriff’s Deputy who allegedly found herself in a frantic fight with a suspect in a lawn near Route 4.
Deputy Kirsten Murphy had to be treated at a hospital Wednesday night following the melee that reportedly took place in front of a small apartment house that sits between the Mill Mall complex and the Bridgewater Fire Station.
Jeremy Guerin, 36, a longtime resident of downtown White River Junction who was listed as “homeless” on his court paperwork, pleaded innocent on Thursday afternoon to two felony counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, one of which was for causing her serious bodily injury and the other was attempting to prevent her from doing her duties.
Guerin also pleaded innocent to accompanying misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, unlawful mischief, resisting arrest, simple assault, and simple assault on a police officer by physical menace.
At the conclusion of the arraignment Guerin was held for lack of $25,000 bail and transported back to the Springfield jail.
Murphy told investigators that as she tried to handcuff Guerin shortly before 7 p.m. on Wednesday due to a reported incident nearby, he “turned toward me and squared off in a fighting stance.”
“I told him ‘Stop! Don’t do it’ (but) Guerin began to struggle…to the point my knee popped and we went to the ground,” Deputy Murphy recalled in an interview Wednesday night with Windsor County Sgt. Phil Call which was filed with the court.
“During this time he hit me, I don’t know how many times. He pulled my hair and had me in a choke hold by putting his arm around my throat and restricted my breathing,” Murphy continued, in the interview with the sergeant. “I was struggling with him, thinking, ‘If he gets me on my back I’m in trouble and I’ve had it.’ People were gathering and traffic was driving by slowing down (on Route 4) and some cars even stopped. Jeremy was kicking and flailing, yelling ‘(expletive) let go of me! You (expletive)!”
Deputy Murphy said that even as men were intervening and trying to convince Guerin to back off, “I was concerned, was he going to attempt to get my gun? I sprayed Guerin with (pepper spray) and managed to get him handcuffed (but he) continued to fight and attempt to kick and yell obscenities.”
In her post-incident interview, shortly before she was transported to the hospital, Deputy Murphy was asked to detail her injuries and said, “My head hurts over my eye, my knee is sore, I’ve got a headache and I’m lame.”
Sgt. Call said Murphy had several visible bruises on her arms and a notable bump over her eyebrow as well as a swollen and discolored knee cap.
Sgt. Call went to the Woodstock Police Department to interview Guerin. He said Guerin at the time “was yelling, swearing and berating all the officers present” and eventually took a breath test which showed a 0.116 percent blood alcohol level.
In her report, Deputy Murphy said the evening’s incidents began when she spotted “Guerin walking down Route 4 in Bridgewater with an open Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboy can of beer in his hand. I told him to dump it as he cannot have an open container in public. He threw it and yelled ‘Why the (expletive) don’t you leave me alone and let me do what I want?’.”
A short time later, Murphy was called to a Mill Road apartment for a reported disturbance and found “Guerin at the top of the stairs pounding on the door window and yelling all kinds of obscenities. The window to the door broke and Guerin continued yelling and swearing at [the occupants] who were inside.”
Murphy said she told Guerin to stop and leave and got out her handcuffs and began attempting to arrest him.
A witness who said he saw the ensuing incident from a nearby residence later gave police a sworn written statement saying, “I was walking in my driveway when I heard very, very loud yelling across the road. I saw the man with no shirt on hitting the female officer several times with a closed fist. She sprayed pepper spray and the man was still going after her like crazy. Her radio was on the ground and I came over to help the officer get a better handle on things by trying to calm him down. (Deputy Murphy) gave me her keys to go get the phone from her cruiser for a call to get back up. I stayed with her until the other officers arrived. Throughout the whole time he tried kicking me and was using very, very foul language but my main goal was to help the female officer out of harm’s way.”