Lee woman denies spitting in Pittsfield police officer's mouth, face


PITTSFIELD -- A Lee woman who allegedly spit into the mouth of a police officer as he took her into custody pleaded not guilty on Monday to two misdemeanors and remains free on personal recognizance.

Pittsfield Police say 27-year-old Sara J. Stein was being disorderly when they showed up at the Underground Pub on South Street for a reported disturbance at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The police told her if she left the area she wouldn't be arrested; instead, she verbally abused them while a group of about 15 people looked on, according to court documents. Eventually she was taken into custody.

While being taken into custody, she allegedly turned toward the arresting officer and spit into his face.

The officer said he felt the impact of the spit on his "cheek, nose, eye and mouth."

She was charged with misdemeanor assault and battery on a police officer and disorderly conduct.

On Monday in Central Berkshire District Court, Stein initially waived her right to a lawyer and was attempting to resolve the case. The Berkshire District Attorney's Office was asking for a $500 fine on the charges. Judge Paul M. Vrabel said Stein needed a lawyer since there could be jail time for the charges, based in part on her prior record.

Vrabel sentenced Stein to nine months in jail in October 2012 on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. She beat a woman outside of Hermann Alexander's Bar on Lyman Street in Pittsfield in the early morning hours of Sept. 10, 2011, leaving the woman covered in blood, with a fractured eye socket, lacerations and other injuries, police said.

In October 2011 she was sentenced to 60 days in jail in an unrelated attack of a woman with a knife during an altercation in April 2011, according to court records.

Stein denies the latest charges. She is due back in court with her attorney, Ryan D. Smith, in January.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:
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