OLD TOWN, Maine — A drunk-driving check grew out of control Saturday night when an Old Town woman punched three officers who were attempting to get her into custody.
Amy Cocchia, 30, was cooperative when police conducted standard field sobriety tests on her, but her mood changed dramatically when officers produced handcuffs, Old Town police Capt. Kyle Smart said Tuesday morning.
Shortly after 7 p.m., Penobscot Nation officer Mike Conners was flagged down on Main Street in Old Town when a vehicle driven by Cocchia crashed into a fence, according to Smart.
Old Town police Sgt. Lee Miller was immediately dispatched, and the driver was identified as Cocchia, Smart said.
“She said that an animal went out in front of her and swerved to avoid it,” said Smart. “Miller could smell an alcoholic beverage coming from her.”
It turns out Cocchia had left Kosta’s Restaurant just prior to the accident, Smart said. She had attempted to pay a $22.67 bill with a credit card that was declined, and told a server she was going to her car to get cash and took off.
A witness who was heading in the opposite direction as Cocchia on Main Street reported to police that Cocchia’s vehicle swerved off the right-hand side of the road, struck a light pole, went back across the road and struck a fence, Smart said. No animal had run out into the street.
Conners had also detected an odor of alcohol when speaking with Cocchia, and she performed poorly on several field sobriety tests administered by Miller, according to Smart.
Upon being told she was being arrested, Cocchia grew extremely belligerent, the captain said, and told Miller “he couldn’t arrest her” and pulled away.
Despite help from Conners, Cocchia continued to resist, and even though both officers managed to get her on the ground and place one hand behind her back, Cocchia used her free hand to punch Miller, Smart said. She also punched Conners during the struggle, the captain said.
Officer Justin Angelo arrived to assist, and despite being bit by Cocchia, he and the other two officers managed to handcuff her, according to Smart. Once Cocchia was placed in a squad car, she started kicking the windows.
“Her mom showed up and tried to get her to calm down. That didn’t help, either,” said Smart.
Cocchia refused a trip to the hospital for a blood test so she was brought straight to Penobscot County Jail and charged with assault on a police officer, a Class C felony, OUI, refusing to submit to arrest and theft, Smart said.
Once at the jail, she was uncooperative with staff, Smart said, but was eventually brought under control.
Cocchia was later released on bail, and could spend up to five years in jail if convicted of the assault on an officer charge.
Correction: An earlier version of this story requires correction. Amy Cocchia is 30 years old, not 20.