Vergennes Police Log: City police deal with rabid animals

VERGENNES — Following a number of recent reports in Vergennes of possibly rabid animals, Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel is asking residents to let city police or local game wardens know if they see any animals acting strangely —and to be careful.
In the past two weeks, Vergennes police have shot four animals acting strangely, including raccoons on Jan. 17 and 20, and on Monday were responding to a fifth report.
Merkel said he had consulted with a game warden, who said it’s not unusual for animals to come out this time of year in periods of warm weather and appear disoriented. However, disease cannot be ruled out, Merkel said, and he sent one animal an officer shot to a state laboratory for testing. Merkel said he would make those results public as soon as they were available, probably this week.
In the meantime, he recommended that as well as notifying officials of any sightings residents should stay away from any wild animals, keep pets on a leash, and not tie them up outdoors.
In other incidents between Jan. 16 and 22, Vergennes police:
•  On Jan. 16 tried, but failed, to find a truck reported to being driven erratically northbound on Route 7.
•  On Jan. 16 backed up Vermont State Police at a Route 7 traffic stop in Ferrisburgh at which the driver became irate.
•  On Jan. 16 responded to a report of an injured owl near the intersection of Route 7 and New Haven Road; police picked it up and took the bird to an owl rehabilitation center in Monkton.
•  On Jan. 17 after noise complaints told construction workers to stop early morning work at a Main Street business.
•  On Jan. 17 searched the Hopkins Road area unsuccessfully for a suspicious man seen there.
•  On Jan. 17 referred to the Department for Children and Families (DCF) a report of a man feeling suicidal.
•  On Jan. 18 cited Geoffrey P. Penar, 28, of South Burlington for driving under the influence of alcohol on Route 7 in Charlotte. Merkel said he was returning from a meeting when he saw two cars on the side of the road and a woman apparently in need of help. He said the woman told him her son, who had been driving the other car, might have been drinking. Merkel alleged Penar’s roadside blood-alcohol contest tested at 0.27, and the result of an evidentiary test is pending. The legal limit for driving is 0.08.
•  On Jan. 18 dealt with a fender-bender on Park Street.
•  On Jan. 19 ticketed a tractor-trailer unit for speeding and defective equipment after a Main Street stop.
•  On Jan. 19 ticketed a delivery truck for parking in a handicap spot at the intersection of Main and Green streets; police said it was also blocking access to a hydrant and a crosswalk.
•  On Jan. 19 forwarded an allegation of a sexual assault to DCF, and DCF personnel determined the allegation was unfounded.
•  On Jan. 20 ticketed a car in violation of the city’s overnight ban on parking on city streets.
•  On Jan. 20 issued a no-trespass order to a Ferrisburgh resident on behalf of a Vergennes resident.
•  On Jan. 20 checked a report of eight suspicious individuals on First Street and discovered they were playing Frisbee.
•  On Jan. 20 sent the department K9 unit to help in the search for a Ferrisburgh man reported missing; he was found.
•  On Jan. 21 handled a minor two-car accident on South Water Street.
•  On Jan. 22 went to the City Limits parking lot to look into a complaint of a group of loud people, but found no problem.
•  On Jan. 22 took a report of a hit-and-run accident in the Shaw’s Supermarket parking lot.
•  On Jan. 22 stopped a driver who had left Small City Market without paying for gas and sent him back to pay.
•  On Jan. 22 helped out state police by looking into a report of a loose bull at the Ferrisburgh intersection of Botsford and Little Chicago roads. 

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