A local man is being held without bail after police said he assaulted a woman on July 16 in Rutland after she told him she was going to call the police as a way to try to stop him from assaulting a second woman.
Walter M. Taylor III, 28, of Rutland, pleaded not guilty on Monday in Rutland criminal court, to two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count of domestic assault, one felony count of obstruction of justice and one felony count of assault and robbery. Taylor also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of interference with access to emergency services.
The domestic assault charge was modified because Taylor has a previous conviction for violating an abuse prevention order. According to court records, that conviction was in September 2017.
The charges against Taylor are based on an affidavit written by Detective Ryan Ashe of the Rutland City Police Department who said police were notified by a 43-year-old woman of an “active domestic dispute” around 11:40 p.m. July 16. The woman said these incidents were an ongoing issue.
While police were on the way, a 71-year-old man called to report a woman rolling around on the ground. RCPD Officer Misty Klementowski, the first officer at the scene, found the woman who made the complaint on the ground, bleeding and unconscious, when she arrived.
The affidavit said the woman later told Klementowski, in a “broken and nearly unintelligible voice,” that a man named Walter had assaulted her.
Ashe said the woman was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center for treatment of “significant injuries” and was admitted in critical condition.
The affidavit said police began looking for Taylor because he was listed in the criminal database as a man named “Walter” in that area with a criminal history. There was no answer at his door, but police learned a man named “Walter” had gone to the emergency department for treatment of injuries.
Klementowski reported she learned Taylor had been taken to the hospital by a 30-year-old woman.
Ashe said he spoke to the woman and she denied that Taylor had assaulted the woman who had been hospitalized. After Ashe told the woman that he believed video surveillance equipment in use in the area where the assault occurred would show what happened, the woman said Taylor, with whom she is in a relationship, is an alcoholic and would assault her if she talked to police.
She told Ashe she was afraid of Taylor, according to the affidavit.
The woman allegedly told police she and Taylor had argued earlier that night and he hit her. She said the hospitalized woman confronted Taylor about hitting her.
Ashe said medical staff at the hospital told him the woman they admitted had a collapsed right lung, a broken nose and a laceration on her head that required 10 stitches.
Although she was in “severe pain,” the woman was able to talk to Ashe while in the hospital. He said she told him she had seen Taylor assaulting the second woman. The affidavit indicated she didn’t know Taylor or the woman, but told him he needed to stop because she was calling the police.
She said Taylor then ran toward her and began to punch her. She said he told her he knew she lived in the area where the alleged incident occurred and he would kill her.
The woman said the second woman approached them and told Taylor to leave her alone and “instead take it out on her.”
“(The woman) said she was in horrific pain and believed she was going to die. (The woman) said Taylor was assaulting her so bad that she believed he would kill her,” Ashe wrote in the affidavit.
The woman also told police that after she fell to the ground, Taylor began to kick her.
She told Ashe that she used her phone to record Taylor allegedly assaulting the other woman and he took her phone. She said she believed he took it because of the video she made.
Taylor was arrested after being discharged from the hospital and declined to talk to police, Ashe said in the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, video surveillance showed Taylor allegedly hitting the woman with whom he is in a relationship. Ashe said the video seemed to show Taylor running toward the woman who was hospitalized but then both people were in shadows and the activity could not be clearly seen.
In a motion, Travis Weaver, a deputy state’s attorney for Rutland County, argued that the evidence in the affidavit indicated that Taylor posed a threat to public safety and that he would not obey court orders. He said the reason for the assault against the hospitalized woman was to prevent her from reporting the first alleged assault against a second woman.
Attorney Sean Milligan, who represented Taylor, said the second woman wanted to continue to have contact with Taylor but Judge John Treadwell, in Windham County court on Monday, denied the request and ordered Taylor not to have contact with either woman.
The case was arraigned in Windham County, but will continue in Rutland County.
The charges of aggravated assault are each punishable by up to 15 years in jail if Taylor is convicted. The domestic assault and obstruction of justice charges carry maximum penalties of 5 years in jail. If convicted of assault and robbery, Taylor could be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and the interference with access to emergency services could add another year.
If convicted of all the charges, Taylor could be sentenced to more than 50 years in jail.