Laramie Man Accused Of Hurling Watermelon At Pregnant Woman Could Face Prison

A Laramie man could get prison time if convicted of assaulting a pregnant woman by hurling a watermelon, corn cob, metal trash can and vase at her. He’s scheduled to enter a plea to the charges Thursday.

Clair McFarland

October 18, 20233 min read

The Laramie Police Department headquarters.
The Laramie Police Department headquarters. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

A Laramie man could face time in prison if he’s convicted of assaulting his pregnant girlfriend by hurling a watermelon, corn cob, metal trash can and vase at her, court documents say. 

Richard Michael Sawinski, who is 42 this year, is charged in Albany County District Court with one count of aggravated assault on a pregnant woman and one misdemeanor count of domestic assault. The first is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines while the second carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and $750 in fines. 

Sawinski is scheduled to give a plea Thursday. 

Falling Silent

Laramie Police Department Officer Stephanie Mestack went to a home July 24 on South Hayes in Laramie after a neighbor called to report yelling and a loud, gunshot-like report from a white trailer house, says an evidentiary affidavit filed in Albany County District Court.

When she arrived, Mestack noticed the back door was cracked; a window was broken and glass shards littered the ground below it. She could hear a man and woman arguing but couldn’t make out what they were saying, the affidavit says. 

Mestack knocked on the front door. 

The voices fell silent. 

Come In

A woman, whose right hand apparently had blood on it, opened the front door. 

Despite the blood, Mestack noted later the woman did not appear to be physically hurt. 

The woman asked if the officers wanted to enter the home, and they did. 

Inside, Mestack noticed glass, a corn cob husk, part of a watermelon, blood and furniture scattered on the floor, the document says. 

The woman and a male juvenile sat on the couch. 

Distraught, the woman cried. 


She told the officers that her boyfriend, Sawinski, came to the home heavily intoxicated that day after returning from Cheyenne, and he started yelling at her. 

He grabbed a glass vase and threw it at her head while she sat on the couch, the woman said, adding that she ducked and dodged the vase, and it crashed through the window behind her. 

The affidavit claims Sawinski kept throwing things: a corn cob, a whole watermelon, a metal trash can.

All objects missed the woman, but at some point either the trash can or the broken glass cut Sawinski’s foot and made it bleed, the woman said. 

She noted that she’s three months pregnant. An officer asked if Sawinski would have known that, and the woman said he would: he’s the child’s father, the affidavit relates. 

Boy Says

Mestack also questioned the boy, who related essentially the same account, adding that he yelled at Sawinski to stop throwing things. 

The boy also said Sawinski would have known the woman was pregnant. 


Originally charged July 25 in Laramie County Circuit Court, Sawinski’s case ascended Oct. 4 to the felony-level Albany County District Court. 

The case prosecutor charged him with aggravated assault under a provision in Wyoming law making the crime apply when someone commits a substantial step, either knowingly, intentionally or recklessly, toward causing a bodily injury to a woman whom he knows to be pregnant. 

Clair McFarland can be reached at

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter