Man charged in shotgun case

MIDDLEBURY — A Milton man on Monday pleaded innocent in Addison Superior Court, criminal division, to a felony charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, after he allegedly fired a shotgun at a Ferrisburgh job site on Jan. 6 in reaction to having been accused of stealing some tools from the company.
Duane A. Cross, 39, faces a penalty of up to five year in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 if convicted of the offense.
It was at 11:38 a.m. on Jan. 6 that Vermont State Police Trooper Brett P. Flansburg was dispatched to a job site off Ferrisburgh’s Atkins Farm Road on a report of an alleged “weapons offense,” according to court records. Upon arrival, Flansburg learned from a Hayward Design Build (HDB) official that Cross — who worked as subcontractor for HDB at the site — had allegedly showed up there earlier that morning and had “threatened (HDB) workers with a firearm,” according to court records.
The company official told police that his workers went behind a building at the job site when they saw Cross speed down the driveway in a company van and exit the vehicle with a shotgun — which he allegedly fired into the air, according to Flansburg’s court affidavit.
The company official said he called Cross’s boss and asked him to come to the job site to speak with Cross, according to Flansburg’s affidavit. That individual did show up to speak with Cross and take possession of the shotgun (which he ultimately turned over to the Williston VSP barracks), after which Cross had left the scene, according to court records.
Flansburg reported that Cross contacted him by phone later that day and alleged that “a few workers from the job had accused him of stealing power tools and had threatened to harm him,” according to Flansburg’s affidavit. But Cross could not provide police with the names of workers who had allegedly threatened him, according to Flansburg.
Cross allegedly told Flansburg that he had brought his father’s shotgun to the job site for his own protection and that he had showed up at the site yelling, “Who thinks I am a liar?” before shooting the gun into the air, according to court records.
“I was only trying to prove a point, I wanted them to see how far I would go to prove that I did not steal those tools,” Cross allegedly told Flansburg.
After the incident, Cross reported setting the shotgun down on the bumper of the company vehicle and continued working, according to Flansburg’s affidavit.
“I know what I did was wrong, but I watched the movie ‘Lawless’ last night and it got me amped up. Some (expletive) called my boss and told him I had a gun. What an (expletive),” Cross allegedly told Flansburg, according to court records.
A witness told police that Cross was suspected to have taken some tools from the job site a few weeks prior and had not been back in “quite some time,” according to court records. The witness claimed that Cross, while carrying the shotgun, had screamed such statements as, “Who (expletive) ratted on me?” and “Who wants to (expletive) with me?” according to court records.
“At that point, I was in fear for my life,” the witness told Flansburg of his reaction to the gunshot.
Another witness told Flansburg that he was afraid that Cross was going to walk to the back of the building and start shooting the workers who were congregating there.
Cross allegedly made an appointment with Flansburg to come to the state police barracks in New Haven, according to Flansburg’s affidavit. But Cross did not show up at the appointed time and instead called Flansburg to allegedly say, “(Expletive) you, my lawyer said not to come to the barracks, so I am not coming,” according to court records.
Flansburg then requested a warrant for Cross’s arrest.

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