Brattleboro man pleads not guilty to police assault
BRATTLEBORO -- A Brattleboro man asked police, "You wanna die here?" while wielding a large brick during a tense standoff with three officers, one of whom drew his gun and prepared to shoot, court documents claim.
Todd Koshinsky, 28, also punched an officer before he was subdued at his residence, Thursday, in Mountain Home Trailer Park, authorities allege.
A disheveled Koshinsky pleaded not guilty Friday during a brief arraignment in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division. He was ordered held without bail and erupted in anger as he was led from the courtroom.
"I’m tired of being lied about. I’m tired of people saying these things about me," Koshinsky said. "All I’ve ever done is be nice."
Brattleboro police said Koshinsky, who had been arrested previously for stalking, was under court-ordered conditions to stay at his home and have no contact with a victim from that prior case.
On Thursday, the victim told police she had seen Koshinsky in Brattleboro and also claimed he had shown up at the bottom on her driveway.
The situation worsened when police arrived at Koshinsky’s Valley Road home and told him he was under arrest.
"Koshinsky’s response to this was to yell that he was not under arrest and to quickly back away," a police affidavit says. "He ran into his house and slammed the door."
As officers considered their options, Koshinsky exited his home but then went back inside, according to the affidavit authored by Brattleboro police Sgt. Mark Carignan.
When Koshinsky came out a second time, "he held his arms up aggressively and said, ‘Get the (expletive) off my property,’ several times," Carignan wrote. "He made fists with his hands, raised them up and quickly walked down the steps of the deck toward me."
"You wanna do it?" Koshinsky allegedly demanded.
When Carignan drew his baton, Koshinsky responded by picking up "a large gardening brick" and raising it over his head, court papers allege. He advanced toward the officers, leading Carignan to worry that the officers could sustain "serious injury."
"As I drew my handgun, I was afraid that the only way I was going to be able to prevent this serious injury was by shooting Koshinsky," Carignan wrote.
At that point, though, Koshinsky dropped the brick and tried to flee, court papers say. The ensuing struggle included Carignan hitting Koshinsky multiple times with his baton and Koshinsky allegedly punching another officer in the side of his head.
Koshinsky eventually was handcuffed.
He is charged with a felony count of aggravated assault on a police officer along with misdemeanor counts of simple assault on an officer, resisting arrest and violating conditions of release.
The felony carries a maximum prison term of five years.
At Friday’s arraignment, Windham County Deputy State’s Attorney Steven Brown argued that Koshinsky should continue to be held without bail.
"He attempted to and did assault police officers," Brown said. "It appears that the officers would have been in, perhaps, a reasonable position to use deadly force. We are quite concerned that this defendant is out of control."
Defense attorney James Valente pointed out that Koshinsky has no violent criminal history and suffers from an anxiety disorder.
"We believe he had, basically, an anxiety attack," Valente said.
Judge David Suntag said Koshinsky must be held without bail pending further court proceedings due to the nature of the new charges against him.
While the initial violation of Koshinsky’s conditions of release may or may not have been intentional, "the real issue is what happened when the police showed up at his home," Suntag said.
He added that, "they could have shot him."
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.
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