35 year old Melissa Lawrence was in District Court charged with 2 counts of felony assault. Her public defender tried his best to shield her from our cameras, but there is no mistaking what she did before our cameras Tuesday night. As seen in the video, Lawrence threw a rock at our crew; threatened them with a baseball bat; and finally sicced her dogs. A local attorney says Lawrence could face prison time.
Legal Analyst Larry Signore said, "Using a rock; using a bat; using dogs to attack somebody. That could be significantly serious."
ABC6 News Reporter Abbey Niezgoda was treated for dog bites; and News Photographer Mark Jackson suffered an arm injury when he was struck by a rock. The crew was trying to interview Lawrence about a shooting at her home, earlier this week that injured her daughter.
Lawrence was released on $50 thousand dollars personal recognizance but could forfeit her bail if she gets in trouble again.
Legal analyst Larry Signore said, "She can get out on the condition of her good behavior and keeping the peace."
Even though Lawrence was released, she could still face additional charges, beyond the two counts of felony assault. Her dogs were missing today when Animal Control officers went to the home at 365 Public Street in Providence. If she is hiding them from officers, she could face additional charges. Lawrence, who is black, also shouted racial epithets at Niezgoda, who is white. They police report did not indicate if any hate crime enhancements would be filed.