Vergennes Police Log: City police kept busy at Northlands
VERGENNES — Vergennes police were kept busy recently with two calls involving students, and in one case staff, at the Northlands Job Corps federal training center.
First, on April 14 police received a report that several students had been assaulted by two other students as part of a hazing ritual.
According to police, two Northlands students told another student that the newcomer to a dorm had to be initiated and could choose from among a menu of initiation activities, including wearing painted fingernails for three days, joining in the Dorm 24 Fight Club in the basement, having their head dunked in a toilet or licking a toilet seat. Police issued tickets for hazing to Austin Trew, 21, of North Pownal and to Hezakhia Tanner, 25, of Belleville, N.J., 25; and both ere terminated from the Northlands program.
Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel said that his department contacted a residential counselor at the dorm and found out from a student that the counselor knew the hazing was going on. So police issued civil tickets to two Northlands employees for failing to stop hazing, which Merkel said carries a potential fine of $2,000 — twice the fine for hazing itself.
The second Northlands-related incident started on April 20, when police responded to a report of an intoxicated male on Green Street near New Haven Road. Officers couldn’t find the man at this time, but later in the evening found a heavily intoxicated man, transported him to Porter Hospital for detox and gave him paperwork for the Diversion program, since he was underage.
While investigating the matter, police said they discovered that two Northlands students had used the credit card of another Northlands student —an 18-year-old Connecticut resident — and refused to give the card back until he drank an excessive amount of alcohol.
Three students were cited.
Police cited Kaylor D. Kennedy, 21, of Bath N.Y., for extortion, making false reports to a police officer, furnishing alcohol to a minor and enabling consumption of alcohol by a minor. Also cited was Alan D. Burns, 22, of Bennington for reckless endangerment (specifically for leaving the victim outside knowing that he was heavily intoxicate and vomiting in 45 degree weather), furnishing alcohol to a minor, and enabling consumption of alcohol by a minor.
Cited as an accessory after the fact was Benjamin Fox, 19, of Enfield, Conn.; Merkel said he allowed on of the others to compel the victim to consume alcohol against his will, that he gave false information to police, and he engaged in reckless endangerment.
In other recent activity, Vergennes police conducted a number of Vehicle Identification Number inspections, and also:
•On April 15 responded to an alarm at the police department. A defective phone alarm was blamed.
•On April 15 responded to a report of threatening behavior at Vergennes Union High School. Police determined that the school had addressed the issue between a teacher and a student.
•On April 15 conducted a directed patrol on Green and Victory streets, and ended up issuing a ticket for stop sign violation.
•On April 15 assisted state police with a consent search in Ferrisburgh.
•On April 16 conducted a directed patrol on Monkton Road and issued two speeding tickets.
•On April 16 assisted the Department for Children and Families in removing a child from custody of the parents in the Hillside Acres neighborhood.
•On April 16 stopped a tractor-trailer on Main Street and issued a citation to the driver for the truck being 4,000 pounds overweight, plus warned the driver for speeding.
•On April 17 helped out VUHS by dealing with a student who was suspected of trying to bring knives to school. Police said a person driving the student felt uneasy and, at the suggestion of school officials, stopped at the police department, where police took two knives from the student.
•On April 17 logged a complaint from a Walker Avenue resident who said another resident had opened their mail and talked to them in a derogatory manner. Police told the rude suspected mail thief to knock it off.
•On April 17 assisted state police with a landlord-tenant dispute on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh.
•On April 17 conducted foot patrols on Hillside Drive and Green Street.
•On April 18 performed a background investigation for the Department of Homeland Security.
•On April 18 logged a complaint of an attempted fraud that came through the mail to a city resident. Police contacted a law enforcement agency in California, where the mail had come from, and asked that it follow up.
•On April 18 conducted a directed patrol at VUHS, specifically enforcing parking laws by issuing tickets for unauthorized parking in handicap spots and in fire lanes.
•On April 18 looked into a report of spilled fuels on Main Street, and discovered that it was transmission fluid leaking from a vehicle. Fire department personnel spread a substance to dry up the spill and police had the vehicle towed.
•On April 19 responded to a report of a minor accident in the Shaw’s supermarket parking lot. No injuries were reported.
•On April 20 conducted a directed patrol on New Haven Road.
•On April 20 check the local churches what with Easter coming up and news elsewhere in the world of churches being threatened.
•On April 21 logged a report that a man had taken a checkbook and wouldn’t give it back; investigation is ongoing.
•On April 21 conducted a directed patrol on East Street.
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