Amanda Goudie has left her mark on Harpers Ferry, or at least on the local police.
Goudie, 50, an announced candidate for mayor of the historic West Virginia town, was fined $500 Friday after being convicted of biting Police Chief William Gallinaro on the arm.
During a four-hour trial in a Jefferson County courthouse, she acknowledged the extra-legal chomp, plus a kick to the officer's shins, then pleaded for leniency because she said she "didn't want to spend Mother's Day in jail."
It all started last October on the main street that runs through Harpers Ferry and the bordering village of Bolivar, when Chief Gallinaro, making his rounds, pulled Goudie to the side of the road for driving with expired automobile tags.
Gallinaro said that when he asked the candidate to get out of her car and show her driver's license she kicked him in the leg through the open car door. Gallinaro said that she then stepped on the gas and dragged the police chief down the street.
There was only one way Gallinaro, hanging on by one arm, could avoid possible death beneath the car's wheels, the chief testified. He reached into the car and pried the would-be mayor's hand away from the ignition to switch off the key. That, he said, is when the woman who aspires to be his boss bent down and bit him on the arm.
The bite sent the chief to the hospital where he spent two days being treated.
Goudie said she was the victim of "police harassment."
Neither she nor Gallinaro could be reached for comment yesterday. But according to those present at the trial, she represented herself in the misdemeanor case and called a parade of local townsfolk to testify, among them hospital personnel and current mayor H.W. Brawley.
Claiming experience from law school and trying previous court cases, Goudie proceded to astound court officials with a presentation that caused Magistrate Peter H. Dougherty to remark: "If she indeed believes she's a learned person in the law, her education was rather unorthodox."
At point, she called a witness to testify about conversations Goudie had had with the same witness after her brush with Gallinaro. When Dougherty broke in to remind the defendant that he would consider such testimony hearsay, Goudie cried, "It's not hearsay! I'm here and she's here!"
"It gets very frustrating," said Dougherty yesterday, "because that's what we went through with every witness."
According to Goudie, she was driven to bite the cheif when he allegedly threatened to impound her car and reached through the window to take her keys away. She was being "harassed" by local law enforcement, she testified, citing previous arrests for alleged possession of a dangerous weapon and for profanity.
The chief "dragged her bodily" from the car, she said. The bite was merely a "reflex action."
Goudie, who lives two doors from the police station, has reportedly vowed to appeal the case. Running for mayor in both Harpers Ferry and Bolivar (her house is in Bolivar, her garden and garage in Harpers Ferry, police said), the candidate said she plans to be represented by professional counsel next time.