By Candace Sipos -- email@example.com
WINCHESTER -- A city woman accused of hitting her daughter and assaulting a police officer at John Handley High School in June will serve five days in jail followed by 12 months of home electronic monitoring.
Chiquita Ann Roberts, 54, of 628 Watson Ave., pleaded guilty to resisting arrest and simple assault and battery, a reduced charge from the original felony assault and battery on a law enforcement officer. Her third charge, assault and battery against a family member, was dropped.
Roberts was given the option to serve six months in jail or a full year at home under the surveillance of an ankle bracelet. She chose the latter, because she claims to watch her 17-year-old daughter and two grandchildren during the day.
Roberts was allowed to leave the courthouse after her hearing Friday but must return in January for her five days in jail, or she might lose the ability to serve the next 12 months at home, Judge John E. Wetsel Jr. said.
The charges arose from an incident when Roberts was called to the high school to pick up her daughter. After slapping her daughter in front of at least five witnesses, including school officials, the officer confronted Roberts about her actions and she pushed him, according to court documents.
"She was in an agitated state," said Roberts' attorney, assistant public defender Kathleen Griffin, adding that Roberts takes anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants.
"I was not trying to resist, but I was having a panic attack," Roberts told Wetsel, adding that she has had surgery on her left rotator cuff three times because of the incident and needs to have surgery on her right arm.
During the arrest that ensued after Roberts pushed the officer, her daughter jumped on the officer's back.
"My daughter was trying to tell him that I was having a panic attack," Roberts said.
Wetsel noted that this is the second time Roberts has had a legal encounter with a police officer. In 2005, she was charged with simple assault and battery, which also was reduced from assault and battery on a police officer.
Roberts claimed that she was cleaning out her car in her driveway, didn't realize an officer was standing behind her and accidentally threw a McDonald's toy at him.
"You have got to reflect when you are encountered by a law enforcement officer about your behavior," Wetsel told her.
In addition to the sentence and the requirement that she must pay court costs by Aug. 1, Wetsel said that Roberts must leave any city school property upon request.
"You can't challenge the authority," he said.