Saxtons River woman denies biting elderly brother
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | December 31,2012
BRATTLEBORO — A 69-year-old Saxtons River woman pleaded innocent Friday to charges she bit her brother in the arm, drawing blood.
Maureen Abbott was arrested Thursday at the Cobb Lane home she shares with her 73-year-old brother, who told Vermont State Police troopers that his sister is bipolar. The man showed police a red, skinless spot above his left elbow about the size of a silver dollar and said his sister had bitten him, according to court records.
The woman also allegedly threatened to bite a Vermont State Police trooper who was trying to handcuff her for transport to the state prison in Springfield.
Abbott was charged with domestic assault and resisting arrest.
The brother told police that his sister had come downstairs looking for their new cat and had “accosted him with a pole.”
Trooper Eric Vitali said the pole appeared to be a cane with a sword inside.
The brother told police that he grabbed the pole to keep his sister from hitting him, and at that point she bit him in the arm.
When the police had taken her into custody she said she didn’t want to be in handcuffs and became aggressive toward the trooper.
“She then became aggressive towards me placing her right hand no less than 1 inch in front of my face. I observed her ball her left fist and I grabbed her hand. When I grabbed her hand, I observed her open her mouth and I believe that she was going to bit(e) me,” wrote Vitali.
She later told Vitali that “she would make her brother’s life miserable” and that her brother “would get it in the neck.”
Abbott, speaking in lightly accented English, said little during her arraignment in front of Superior Court Judge John Wesley.
Wesley noted that Abbott had been examined by a mental health screener for the court, and that she was deemed competent to proceed with the arraignment.
Wesley said the mental health screener did say that Abbott would “benefit” from mental health counseling.
The judge said he ordinarily would not release someone charged with assaulting a family member back to the same home. But Windham County State’s Attorney Tracy Kelly Shriver said the brother didn’t want his sister to be placed somewhere else, since she had nowhere else to live.
According to the court, Abbott lives on the second floor of the house, while her brother lives on the first floor.
The judge ordered Abbott not to harass her brother, “or hit him or bite him.”
“You’ve got to get along better,” the judge loudly told the woman, who said she was hard of hearing and usually reads lips, but couldn’t since she didn’t have her glasses.