Nathaniel Ashwood appears via videoconference in 8th District Court in Lewiston on Wednesday from Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn. He is charged with attempted murder. Video screenshot

LEWISTON — A Massachusetts man denied Wednesday that he attempted to kill a woman on a crowded city sidewalk in June because he thought she was laughing at him.

Nathaniel Ashwood Androscoggin County Jail photo

Nathaniel D. Ashwood, 32, of Springfield, pleaded not guilty by videoconference in 8th District Court in Lewiston to charges of attempted murder, robbery, reckless conduct with a firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm stemming from a June 12 shooting incident.

A judge kept his bail at $200,000 cash; he remains in Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn.

He was indicted on the charges in September by an Androscoggin County grand jury.

Police said Ashwood was walking through a crowd of people, including women and children, when he confronted a woman, asking if she was laughing at him.

He pulled a gun from his waistband, pointed it at her head and told her to give him all of her money, according to a police affidavit.

The woman refused and Ashwood pulled the trigger, but the gun didn’t fire. As he racked the slide back on the gun, the woman and others in the area ran.

Ashwood fled the scene, but fired shots in her direction, witnesses told police, who later recovered nine shell casings from the area of 129 Bartlett St. and farther down the street in the direction he ran, according to the affidavit.

Police arrested Ashwood minutes after the shooting when he was spotted being chased up Blake Street.

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