04/16/2007

Va. woman kicks officer in head during stand-off

By Danielle Zielinski
Daily Press

JAMES CITY, Va. — The suspect faces attempted murder charges after allegedly kicking a police officer in the head.

A family dispute ended in attempted murder charges for a James City County woman after she attacked a police officer during a standoff at her home Thursday night.

Aundria Lorraine Cowles, 42, faces two counts each of attempted capital murder of a police officer and of assault on a police officer.

James City Police spokesman Mike Spearman said she is charged with trying to stab an officer with a knife, and then kicking the officer in the head.

Another officer fired a single shot at Cowles during the struggle, but did not hit her.

Spearman said the incident began shortly before 9 p.m., when Cowles' mother called police to report that her daughter had locked her out of their home on Howard Drive.

Officers called the house and were threatened over the phone, he said.

When two female officers arrived at the home, a woman answered the door "in a tirade," Spearman said.

She was out on the front porch flailing her arms and making threats, he said, when one of the officers sprayed her with "freeze" - - a gas similar to pepper spray.

Spearman said the woman then ran back into the home. One officer followed her inside, while the second stayed outside with the mother and several neighbors and friends who had gathered.

Spearman said that once inside, the woman grabbed a knife and attempted to stab the officer who had followed her. The officer was not stabbed, but was forced to the ground and then kicked in the face and head.

The second officer heard the commotion and entered the house.

"The officer enters and sees the first officer on her back on the floor," he said. "She fires her weapon once at the suspect."

The shot missed, then both officers left the house.

The suspect slammed and locked the door, barricading herself inside, Spearman said.

The SWAT team was called to negotiate with her, but after negotiations stalled around 11:45 p.m., the team entered the home and took Cowles into custody.

Cowles was taken to Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center for evaluation and then transported to the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail.

She remains held there without bond.

The injured police officer was treated by paramedics at the scene.

Spearman said both officers who initially responded to the incident have been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, which is the department's standard procedure when weapons are fired.

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