FARMINGTON –  A Farmington police officer was punched in the face as she attempted to escort a drunken man from the middle of a busy highway Sunday night.

Officer Courtney Krause responded to a call about a person who appeared intoxicated and was in the road in front of the new Rite Aid on Main Street about 9 p.m. Sunday, Police Chief Jack Peck said.

Simon Blodgett, 33, of West Farmington was in the road, also known as the Intervale, with traffic stopped when she arrived, he said.  She asked him to get out of the road. He refused and became belligerent, Peck said.

When she attempted to escort him out of the road, he punched her in the face, more than once, along with other punches. She tried blocking his hits and they both ended up on the ground in the middle of the road, he said.

The struggle took place as she tried to place him under arrest. She called for back-up and when Officer Darin Gilbert arrived, Blodgett was placed under arrest and taken to Franklin County Detention Center.

Krause did not require treatment but has a large bruise on her face from the punch.  The first punch was the worst, Peck said.

Blodgett was arrested on charges of assaulting an officer and failure to submit to arrest.

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