BRATTLEBORO -- A man listing his address as "homeless" faces charges after police said he assaulted two juveniles on Tuesday night in Brattleboro.
Gerard R. Roberts, 39, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday afternoon to a felony count of aggravated domestic assault and two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault.
Over the objections of his attorney, Judge David Suntag continued $5,000 bail that had been set when Roberts was arrested the night before.
"There are indications of risk of flight," Suntag said.
Brattleboro police Officer Amy Hamilton said she responded to a reported assault on a juvenile at 10:33 p.m. Tuesday.
According to an affidavit filed in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division, the victim told Hamilton that Roberts had "freaked out" and had "pushed him and threw him onto the floor," with the victim "hitting the door frame as he fell, causing pain to his back."
The juvenile said Roberts also "punched him several times in the chest and face" and said it "felt like ‘he got shot’" when he was struck. In the past, the victim told police, Roberts has made statements such as "I’m not afraid to hit a kid" and "I’ll kill you."
Hamilton said she noticed abrasions on the victim’s back and reddened ribs on his right side.
The victim told police that another juvenile had come to his assistance. Police found that juvenile at an Elliot Street residence; the second victim said Roberts had "hit him and struck him in the face with a frying pan," court documents say.
The second victim had a lump under his right eye and an open cut on the lump, Hamilton wrote. The boy was taken to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital.
Police said Roberts has a bicycle with a pull cart, which officers found outside the Brattleboro overflow shelter on Main Street. Roberts was sleeping inside. "I observed a strong odor of intoxicating beverages about Roberts’ person, and he staggered when he walked," Hamilton wrote. "Roberts walked directly to my cruiser and put his hands behind his back. I asked Roberts if he knew why I was here, and he said no."
At Roberts’ arraignment on Wednesday, Windham County Deputy State’s Attorney Steven Brown said the suspect should have no contact with the victims and should be held on bail to ensure appearance at future court proceedings.
That is appropriate "given the defendant’s (lack of) ties to the community, given his record, given that he lists his address as homeless," Brown said.
Brown said Roberts has been convicted of contempt in New York and has violated his conditions of release in Vermont.
Defense attorney Dan Davis argued that there were no failures to appear in court on Roberts’ record, and that Roberts has family in Brattleboro.
The judge ruled that bail should remain at $5,000. But Suntag said that, if Roberts can show he has a place to reside in Brattleboro, "I’m more than happy to consider that" at a later date.