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Two guilty in Rindge road rage

RINDGE — A road rage incident involving a Winchendon, Mass., firefighter and a woman on Route 202 in January resulted in convictions for both in the 8th Circuit Court District Division in Jaffrey Wednesday.

Craig Ashmore, 54, of Winchendon pleaded no contest to simple assault for slapping Ariel Blodgett, 23, of Gardner, Mass., across the face with an open palm. She pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct for making loud and unreasonable noises in a public place, stopping her vehicle in a travel lane and arguing with another driver.

Their hearings were held the same day Ashmore's resignation as Winchendon Fire Department lieutenant became effective.

The incident took place on Jan. 4 around 5:10 p.m.

In court Wednesday, Rindge prosecutor Martha Jacques said Ashmore had been driving south on Route 202 when Blodgett, believing Ashmore was about to make a left turn, passed Ashmore's vehicle on the right, almost causing a collision.

Ashmore then proceeded to tailgate her in an attempt to take down her license plate number in order to report her to police for her driving.

Blodgett slowed down then eventually stopped in the lane of travel on Route 202. Ashmore pulled over. They got out of their vehicles and started arguing.

&#';Mr. Ashmore yelled at her, &#';What are you playing games,'&#'; Jacques said.

Blodgett yelled insults at Ashmore about his manhood.

&#';It went back and forth like this. It was a bad scene,&#'; Jacques said.

Then Blodgett started walking towards Ashmore, Jacques said. &#';When she got fairly close he slapped her on the side of the face.&#';

After accepting their pleas and finding them guilty, Judge L. Phillips Runyon said, &#';Doesn't sound like anyone of yours finest moments.&#';

Simple assault is a misdemeanor, which carries a possible maximum jail term of one year.

Jacques told Runyon neither Ashmore nor Blodgett had any prior criminal or traffic records and recommended he issue both fines.

Ashmore was order to pay $620 in fines and court fees. Blodgett was ordered to pay $124 in fines and fees.

After his arrest Winchendon Town Manager James Kreidler said Ashmore's resignation had been accepted by the town and that he was to remain a town employee until April 4.

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