Vergennes Police Log: Vergennes police reunite 4-year-old with family

VERGENNES — The case of a wandering toddler preoccupied Vergennes police and state officials for several hours on May 15.
Police that Monday morning responded to a report of a 3- or 4-year-old boy walking barefoot down the middle of North Green Street and brought him to the station. Eventually, they were able to identify him through an item in his pockets and contact his father in an apartment not far from where he was found. They also contacted the Department for Children and Families.
Officials determined that the father believed the child’s mother had taken him to work because his backpack was missing, as it usually was when he went with his mother. They decided the father was not negligent because that assumption was reasonable and he did not realize the child, who police described as smart and energetic, had let himself out of the apartment and wandered off.
Police Chief George Merkel also thanked citizen volunteer Brittany Brunet, who stayed with the child for the duration while officials sorted things out.
In other action between May 15 and 21, Vergennes police:
•  On May 15 looked into an alleged assault at Northlands Job Corps. Police referred the incident to the state’s attorney, and it was determined two students were horsing around when one poked the other with a screwdriver and charges were not warranted; however, police said one student was dismissed from the program.
•  On May 15 heard about a suspicious man offering free paper towels to a South Maple Street resident; police determined it as a vacuum cleaner salesperson.
•  On May 15 took a report that a wallet had been lost near Three Squares restaurant.
•  On May 16 backed up Vermont State Police on Plank Road, where a vehicle fleeing them had rolled over, trapping and injuring a suspect. City police helped right the vehicle and stood by until rescue personnel arrived.
•  On May 16 stopped a tractor-trailer truck on West Main Street for not having working taillights and ticketed the driver for lack of a commercial license, insurance and registration, and grounded the vehicle.
•  On May 17 investigated an alleged assault at Northlands. Police said one student snatched headphones off another, and they declined to file charges. But they said the student faced expulsion.
•  On May 18 responded to the theft of a purse from a vehicle on North Main Street.
•  On May 18 responded to an accident on Park Street in which a child suffered a broken leg and scrapes. Police said the child darted out between parked cars, and the driver was not at fault.
•  On May 18 found a truant Vergennes Union High School student at his home.
•  On May 18 helped VSP by directing traffic around a truck that was partly off the road at the intersection of Routes 7 and 22A.
•  On May 20 helped a woman who was locked in her car.
•  On May 21 ticketed a man for possession of marijuana who was slumped over his steering wheel unconscious in a Hillside Drive parking lot. Police said the drug was in a pipe in the passenger seat, along with a gun. Police picked up the gun and took a knife from the man before they woke him up.
•  On May 21 checked out a report of possible drug activity in the city’s East Street recreation area, but found no problem.
•  On May 21 dealt with a two-car crash at the intersection of Main and Green streets.

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