WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Warwick School Committee member arrested for reportedly driving under the influence and assaulting a police officer last week faced a judge Thursday.
Karen Bachus was taken into custody last month after an officer spotted her driving erratically near Warwick City Hall.
The officer pulled the 60-year-old over on Oak Street, according to a police report, where he noticed her eyes were “glassy and bloodshot” and her speech was slurred. Bachus reportedly told the officer she had two glasses of saké before getting behind the wheel.
After failing a series of field sobriety tests, the police report states that Bachus was handcuffed and brought to the Warwick Police Department.
Bachus was “confrontational and combative with officers” both in the cruiser and at the station, according to the police report.
The police report states Bachus punched one of the officers in the arm after refusing to consent to a breathalyzer test.
Bachus, who has served on the Warwick School Committee since 2013, has been charged with driving under the influence, simple assault and refusal to submit a chemical test. She pleaded not guilty in court Thursday morning and was released on $1,000 personal recognizance.
In a statement following her arrest, Bachus said she’s “extremely embarrassed” by the ordeal.
“It does not reflect who I am or whom I strive to be every day,” Bachus wrote. “I apologize to my family, friends, colleagues and constituents.”
12 News reached out to Bachus following her court appearance regarding the charges, to which she responded, “I have no comment at this time.”
Chairman David Testa previously told 12 News that the school committee “takes these matters seriously and is monitoring the situation closely.”
Bachus is scheduled to return to court later this month. It’s unclear whether she will remain on the Warwick School Committee.