Crime

Woman charged with State House assault referred to court diversion

by Guy Page

A Calais woman who police say pepper-sprayed three Vermont Liberty supporters and struck one of them on the State House Lawn May 15 was charged July 2 with three misdemeanors. Today, she was referred for court diversion.

Darien McElwain, 57, of Lower Curtis Pond Road was charged by the Washington County State’s Attorney with simple assault, careless and negligent operation of a vehicle, and disorderly conduct (fighting). The first two counts carry a fine of up to $1000 and a one-year prison sentence. The third count carries a fine of up to $500 and 60 days in jail.

Someone referred by the State’s Attorney’s office to court diversion “meets with a board of community volunteers and completes a contract designed to repair the harm done to the victim and the larger community, and address underlying factors in the individual’s life that contributed to the crime,” the Vermont Court Diversion Program website says. They may also pay a fine and be required to listen to the victim(s).

The 4:30 pm attack by McElwain on Karen Skau of Poultney and Shona Reiter of Stowe had its roots in an encounter three hours earlier on the State House steps, when a group of girls including McElwain’s 14-year-old daughter was playing loud music with racially offensive lyrics. According to the police investigation, the song was ‘Good Morning Tokyo.’ Lyrics provided by police in the court affidavit contain nine uses of the N-word, as well as other profanity.

Skau says she asked the girls why they were listening to disgusting music that used the N-word. According to police, the girls then informed McElwain they had been called the N-word. Both Skau and McElwain told police that McElwain drove up to the State House lawn and confronted Skau for the alleged name-calling. At that point their stories diverge. McElwain claims she was pursued by angry protesters and only struck Skau and used pepper spray in self-defense in her attempt to flee. Skau, Reiter and other onlookers said McElwain instigated the confrontation, refused to listen, approached the women, and then pepper-sprayed them both and Struck Skau with her hand and with a sign one of the girls had stolen earlier from the State House lawn.

The fact that charges were filed against McElwain, and no-one else, shows the police gave little credence to her version. Also, the affidavit says that a video shows McElwain striking the first visible blow, taking a sign from one of the kids, and then striking Skau with it as Skau backed up. Another video shows McElwain pepper-spraying Skau, Reiter and Skau’s friend Josh Curiale.

Categories: Crime

10 replies »

  1. Thank you to Vermont Daily Chronicle. It is highly doubtful that other
    Vermont media outlets will be bothered to print the news of this arrest as it just doesn’t fit their narrative.

  2. Wondering if any attention will be paid as to how she is raising her daughter (and any other children she might have)? Seems to me that her daughter has been provoking others and seeking trouble. Hope some intervention happens there as well. If mom can’t control herself how will her daughter learn to? Both mother and daughter appear to have issues around telling the truth as well.

    • The mother and daughter told the truth. Ms. Skau and her boyfriend did not. There were no politics involved.

  3. Thanks to the police also who located the suspect. This type of political/social harassment & violence used to RARELY occur in VT. People respected & tolerated differences of opinion & vulgarity & abject violence was not the “Vermont” way to handle a dispute, an argument, whatsoever. Thanks to a left-leaning, radicalized democrat party that attempts to subdue dissenting voices by threats, arousing hatred, the resultant violence – this all simply created yet more distrust, danger, & risks to all.

  4. “Fascism”, intolerance, can come from Left as well as Right.
    In my day if one was going to break the Law for poilitical reasons you were expected to stand up and take your punishment. Of course it was non-violent and not directed at suppressing other people’s rights.

  5. The next move would be a civil suit and start hunting down whether the perp has any assets or property – if one court refuses to do the right thing – certainly don’t stop fighting for compensation or “reparations” in the other arena. Hit them in the pocket book – unless they are of the EBT card carrying types…then they are their own worst enemy and will suffer consequences via their own ignorance and uselessness.

  6. As someone who was nearby and knows the person ‘accused’ and her daughter, this narrative is completely incorrect. Miss Skau called 4 teenagers the N, R, and F words and aggressively pursued them after they tried to leave. My friend tried to discuss it with Miss Skau who became furious that my friend had a mask on (she has pre-existing conditions). When my friend tried to get away, she held out a sign to get Ms. Skau to back off. Ms. Skau started to advance and was asked multiple times to back away but refused. They chased my terrified friend, jumped on her car with a screaming child in it and tried to break the windshield with a flag pole. All the video shows this. Please be careful before you make accusations. Ms. Skau has a long history of harassing people and not telling the truth.

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