Middlebury Police Log: High-speed chase ends in crash

MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police on Thursday, April 7, participated in a high-speed chase of a vehicle driven by a man whose license was under suspension.
Middlebury police said they spotted the 1998 Volvo S70 on Buttolph Drive at around 11:40 p.m. but were unsuccessful in getting the man — identified as Michael J. LaFountain, 37, of Weybridge — to pull over.
Vermont State Police picked up the chase on Route 23 as LaFountain traveled into Weybridge.
Police said they clocked LaFountain’s vehicle at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour during the chase. At one point, he attempted to navigate a corner and his vehicle spun out. As state police cruisers closed in, LaFountain reversed his vehicle, ran over a yield sign and continued west on Route 23.
Continuing to drive at a high rate of speed, LaFountain eventually lost control of his vehicle on the wet road, and the Volvo crossed both lanes and crashed into a tree. LaFountain, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was not injured, but the car was totaled.
Police said they took LaFountain into custody without incident, charging him with driving under the influence of drugs, attempting to elude, and gross careless and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
It turns out that, almost exactly 48 hours earlier, state police had stopped a man driving on Route 116 in Middlebury and cited him for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs. The man identified himself at Robert LaFountain, the brother of Michael LaFountain. The next day, police figured out that Michael LaFountain had falsely identified himself. So after citing Michael LaFountain in the high-speed chase, state police also cited him for providing false information to a police officer.
Police took Michael LaFountain to the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility, where he was lodged on $5,000 bail.
In other action last week, Middlebury police:
•  Warned an intoxicated man who had allegedly walked into a North Pleasant Street apartment on April 4 to tell the woman inside that he used to know the previous tenant. Police told the man not to return to the apartment.
•  Were informed of a conflict between a two Middlebury Union High School students on April 4.
•  Cautioned two juveniles who had been skateboarding in a 50 mph zone on Case Street on April 5.
•  Recovered four syringes that had been found at the side of Seminary Street Extension on April 5.
•  Received a report that a used syringe had been found in the bathroom of the Maplefields Store on North Pleasant Street on April 6.
•  Received a call about a drunken man who had passed out outside a home on North Pleasant Street on April 6. Middlebury Regional EMS took the man to Porter Hospital, police said.
•  Located a student who had walked away from MUHS on April 6.
•  Helped Middlebury Regional EMS with a woman who had overdosed on pills and alcohol in the Twin Circles area on April 6.
•  Assisted the Vermont Department for Children & Families on April 6 with a case involving the suspected sexual assault of a local juvenile.
•  Assisted a local woman who on April 7 reported receiving harassing phone calls from her ex.
•  Responded to a noise complaint in the Valley View Road area on April 7.
•  Investigated a report on April 7 that a man was refusing to leave the local Department for Children & Families office on Court Street. Police said the man had left upon their arrival at the scene.
•  Warned a man not to sit near the railroad tracks off Merchants Row on April 7.
•  Assisted Middlebury Regional EMS in helping a local woman who wanted to harm herself on April 8.
•  Received a report about a used syringe being found in the Court Street Extension area on April 8.
•  Issued court diversion paperwork to a local juvenile who had allegedly been seen smoking marijuana in a vehicle parked off Court Street on April 8. It was the juvenile’s parents who reported the incident, according to police.
•  Assisted Middlebury Regional EMS with a woman who believed she might have been experiencing a heart attack in the Court Street Extension area on April 9.
•  Responded to the Porter Hospital Emergency Department on April 9 on a report of an intoxicated woman who was “out of control.”
•  Investigated a report of a man allegedly looking for unlocked vehicles parked in The Centre shopping plaza off Court Street Extension on April 9. The man was gone when police arrived.
•  Helped Porter Hospital staff with a drunken woman on April 9.
•  Took, to Rutland Regional Hospital, a very intoxicated man found knocking on the door of a home on South Ridge Drive on April 10. Police said the Rutland-based Grace House had refused to accept the man due to the level of his intoxication.
•  Seized a small amount of drug paraphernalia from a driver following a traffic stop on Route 30 on April 10.
•  Asked the residents of a Seymour Street Extension home on April 10 to pick up a variety of cans, cups and other litter that had been left on the property during a party the previous night. Police on April 10 reported other incidents related to that party, including a drunken man jumping in front of a police cruiser and noise complaints.
•  Responded to a report on April 10 of a drunken woman knocking on doors in the South Street area in search of a ride home.
•  Responded to a noise complaint on Weybridge Street on April 11.

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