Hadley man denies assault with truck

For the Gazette
Tuesday, April 05, 2016

SUNDERLAND — A Hadley man is accused of assaulting an 18-year-old woman he was dating and attempting to strike her with a truck.

Todd Russell, 46, of 366 River Drive, faces charges of assault and battery, and assault with a dangerous weapon resulting from an incident Feb. 22. He pleaded innocent during his arraignment Friday, and has a pretrial conference scheduled for May 20.

Russell also filed a report with police and a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon was filed against the woman, Lisa Day of Ware. She said she was aware of this when she approached police.

According to a police report, Russell and the woman had been in a relationship only a few weeks, although they have dated on and off since Day was 14.

Day told police she and Russell were returning from Greenfield to Russell’s home in Hadley on Feb. 22 when Russell became angry that Day was talking to certain people on her cell phone. Russell swerved to jostle her around the truck’s cab, causing her to hit her head on the passenger window. Russell also took Day’s cell phone and smashed it on the steering wheel. He then called her derogatory names and screamed in her face before stopping the truck on Falls Road and removing the woman’s belongings, according to a police report.

Day told police Russell grabbed her by the arm and removed her from the truck when she refused to get out. Day said she struck Russell in the area of his neck and head out of self-defense.

Russell drove away and Day started to look for a house so she could call for help. Russell reversed direction and attempted to use the truck to strike Day, who dove out of the way, according to the report. Russell then offered a ride to the woman and she told police she accepted only because she had no cell phone to use and did not know where she was.

The two then drove to the area of a water tower and talked until Russell drove them back to his home.

Day told police she is afraid to face Russell in court and feels frightened in his presence. She said she initially thought the incident occurred in Hadley and went to that town’s Police Department before being referred to the Sunderland Police Department.