This is an unusual one out of Vermont. According to Keith Whitcomb Jr. at the Bennington Banner, Bennington Rural Fire Department Chief Joseph Hayes was on an arcing wires call on June 3. Hayes told Bennington Police Officer Andy Hunt when he crossed the road to get a pole number he saw a vehicle coming at him at a high rate of speed. Police report that Chief Hayes, who was not wearing reflective gear, tried to get the vehicle to slow down by shining a flashlight at the car. Officer Hunt says when that didn’t work the chief admitted to throwing his flashlight at the vehicle and then “having a few choice words” with the driver.
Frederick Grant’s 2007 Saturn Outlook ended up with a cracked grill and bumper cover with an estimated repair bill of almost $1000. Grant says he was traveling at 15 to 20 mph and the combination of a light rain and mist and a truck with lights on coming toward him limited his visibility, but that he did slow down when he saw someone in a white shirt on the side of the road. Grant didn’t realize there was a problem until he heard something hit his car and someone cussing him out.
Grant didn’t originally press charges but did so when he realized the extent of the damage. The paper reports that Officer Hunt had difficulty reaching the chief after the Bennington County State’s Attorney told the officer to charge Hayes with disorderly conduct and unlawful mischief. When the officer called the chief asking him to come to the police department, Hayes put a member of the fire department’s board on the phone, Carl Sherman:
According to Hunt, Sherman told him that he would not allow Hayes to speak to them without a lawyer, as he does not trust the police. He said the police could give Hayes a few days, as the matter had been dragged out. Hunt said he told Sherman that Hayes needed to meet with him soon; otherwise, he would apply for an arrest warrant.
Hunt said that on June 22, Hayes had still not shown up, owing to a leg injury he’d received at a fire call on June 21. He said he called Hayes, who said he would not be able to move until the following week. Hunt wrote that he went to Hayes’ house and served him the citation to appear in court July 9. According to Hunt, he later learned Hayes was at a fire scene on June 23, using crutches.
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Also on STATter911 …
- Guilty plea: Vermont chief admits throwing flashlight at vehicle. – January 9, 2013
- Flashlight throwing former VT chief has bigger problems. Joseph Hayes & wife accused of embezzlement involving Bennington Rural FD raffle. – February 26, 2013
- Florida firefighter & civilian struck at highway scene. Incident involved two separate drunk driving arrests. – December 8, 2012
- Must see dash-cam video: Lawsuit after WI police officer chases volunteer firefighter responding to firehouse. FF claims excessive force when gun is pointed at him during traffic stop. – November 4, 2012
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