ITHACA, N.Y. —A not guilty plea was entered Wednesday morning at the arraignment of a woman charged with punching an Ithaca police officer in the face.

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Epiphany Kearney, 22, of Ithaca, is charged with a violation for second-degree harassment and a misdemeanor for second-degree obstructing governmental administration.

Court documents showed that an officer was trying to disperse a group of people arguing and was restraining a woman when Kearney punched the officer in the face, causing her to have a bloody, swollen lip. A friend of Kearney’s said the woman being restrained by the officer had hit Kearney in the face. The friend said Kearney, who had been drinking at a downtown club before the incident, mistakenly hit the officer instead of the other woman.

At an arraignment in Wednesday morning in Ithaca City Court, Kearney did not have a lawyer present and said she was unsure what she would do for representation.

“You really need to hire an attorney. These are very serious charges,” Judge Scott Miller told Kearney. “If you are convicted, you will be incarcerated.”

A not guilty plea was entered on behalf of the court and Kearney was given 30 days to determine how she would proceed. She was also provided with information to apply for a court appointed attorney, if she is eligible to receive one.

Kearney is due back in court at 9 a.m. Sept. 11.

Contact Jolene Almendarez anytime: 907-854-3248 | Email | Twitter | Facebook

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.