MERRIMAC (CBS) — A 54-year-old North Hampton, New Hampshire man charged with assaulting a woman in the Merrimac Police Station lobby early Friday morning pleaded not guilty during his arraignment.

Steven Nichols was arraigned on charges of assault and battery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and kidnapping in Newburyport District Court on Friday.

The alleged assault happened at the police and fire station on East Main Street at 2:21 a.m.

After finishing with a traffic stop, an officer arrived moments later and he could hear a woman as he approached the station.

When the officer entered the lobby, he allegedly saw the Nichols on top of the woman, holding her head against the ground.

Police say the officer drew his stun gun and ordered Nichols to get off of her. He complied and was then arrested.

Investigators say Nichols and the woman met earlier in the day, with him picking up the woman at her home.

He drove them to Salisbury where he keeps a boat, police said.

On the drive back to the woman’s home, she told police that Nichols’ behavior suddenly changed and he began threatening and assaulting her, grabbing her by the throat.

Eventually, Nichols took the woman to the police station.

Surveillance video allegedly shows Nichols forcing the woman out of the car, dragging her by the hair into the lobby, and slamming her head into the floor shortly before the officer found him pinning her down.

The woman declined medical treatment at the station.

West Newbury and Amesbury police also assisted Merrimack police.

Nichols is being held without bail.

He is slated for a dangerousness hearing on July 31.


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