Vergennes Police Log: Man driving with children in truck cited for DUI and reckless endangerment

VERGENNES — A tip from a concerned citizen on Saturday, July 18, resulted in Vergennes police issuing a series of citations to an Addison man, including driving-under-the-influence of drugs, test refusal, third offense, and two citations for reckless endangerment of children under the age of 12.
At about 9:15 p.m. that night, Vergennes police also cited Matthew Couture, 38, for leaving the scene of an accident on Panton Road.
City police were doing traffic duty at the intersection of Panton Road and West Main Street when a motorist pulled up next to their cruiser and said he had just seen a pickup truck swerve over the centerline of Panton Road, strike what was either a mailbox or sign, and keep driving.
Police caught up with the pickup and said it was driven by Couture, who they allege failed roadside sobriety testing, but refused to submit to evidentiary testing for impairment by drugs. They also said Couture’s arm was bleeding, and called the Vergennes Area Rescue Squad to treat him.
Police said because Couture has two prior convictions for DUI they cited him for DUI-drugs, test refusal, third offense. Because there were two young children in the car, they also issued two citations for reckless endangerment. Police said Couture’s failure to stop after striking an object after swerving off the road led to the citation for leaving the scene of an accident.
In other incidents between July 13 and 19, Vergennes police:
• On July 13 discovered illegal trash dumped on Hopkins Road; police were able to identify who dumped it, but described him as transient and as of Tuesday said they have not been able to find him.
• On July 13 helped Vermont State Police in New Haven deal with an out-of-control teen who had threatened to burn down a home.
• On July 13 spoke to two teens who had been firing shotguns near Panton Road homes and hit a structure; police took the guns and gave them to relatives and spoke to the teens’ parents.
• On July 13 calmed a verbal family dispute at a Main Street apartment.
• On July 13 ticketed a driver for speeding and possession of a small amount of marijuana at a Main Street traffic stop.
• On July 15 kicked a man out of Falls Park after the nighttime curfew.
• On July 15 helped VARS at a Route 7, Ferrisburgh, home deal with a combative patient.
• On July 15 cited Melodie Gingrow, 58, of Shelburne for driving with a license that had been suspended for life and for driving with plates not assigned to that vehicle, actions taken following a traffic stop at the intersection of Routes 7 and 22A.
• On July 15 handled a minor two-car accident on Main Street.
• On July 15 issued a no-trespass order to a Northlands Job Corps student who allegedly had been caught shoplifting a cigarette lighter from Kinney Drugs; police said store management did not want charges pressed.
• On July 16 secured a Main Street business that had been found with an unlocked door.
• On July 16 helped VARS on Main Street lift a patient with a broken leg.
• On July 16 went to the Little City Family Practice and asked a belligerent man to leave.
• On July 16 went to a Hopkins Road home to check out a kitchen fire, and found no problem when they arrived.
• On July 16 were told a bicycle had been stolen on School Street.
• On July 16 issued a DUI citation to a New Haven Road resident on behalf of Shelburne police.
• On July 17 looked into a complaint of illegal parking in a Shaw’s Supermarket handicap spot, but found no problem.
• On July 17 accepted a wallet found by a citizen and left a message for its owner.
• On July 18 began investigating two incidents of vandalism to cars parked on Green Street; in one, a lawn ornament had been tossed on the hood of the car, damaging it, and in the other, an unknown object had shattered a rear window.
• On July 19 cited Gary Fleming Jr., 44, of Moriah, N.Y., for DUI. Police said they watched his car swerve and strike another car on South Water Street, and that his blood-alcohol content tested at 0.231, almost three times the legal limit for driving, which is 0.08.
• On July 19 checked a report that a dog left in a car on Monkton Road was in distress. Police said the dog was fine, but they spoke to its owner.

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