Vergennes Police Log: Sergeant helps woman walking in traffic

VERGENNES — Vergennes Police Sgt. Jason Ouellette on the morning of Monday, April 4, possibly saved the life of a woman who was walking in morning traffic in the middle of Route 7 in New Haven near the bridge over the New Haven River.

Vermont State Police at about 9:15 a.m. asked Vergennes police officials if they could help the woman. State police at the time said they had no troopers near the scene, so Vergennes Sgt. Ouellette and Officer Mark Barber responded.

Ouellette arrived first and found the woman walking in the center of the road. Police said she was “experiencing an extreme mental health crisis (and) had fought with her caregiver” and left the caregiver’s vehicle and went onto Route 7, where she was “oblivious to vehicles passing on each side of her.”

Police said Ouellette rushed to her, but she resisted. However, police said Ouellette “subsequently controlled her, and safely brought her to the side of the road.”

There, he, Barber and Troopers Mae Murdoch and Josh Gurwicz, who by then had arrived, restrained her until Middlebury Regional Emergency Medical Services personnel could take her to Porter Hospital for treatment and counseling.

In other action between April 4 and 10, Vergennes police conducted nine traffic stops and 10 patrols, five by cruiser and five on foot, and also:

On April 4, searched a West Main Street home after a report of burglars on the premises and concluded it was a false report due to the owner’s mental health issues.

On April 5, took a report that a West Main Street neighbor’s dogs had killed two of her chickens and had knocked her daughter over, but that the neighbor hoped the issues had been resolved and just wanted the incidents on the record in case of future problems.

On April 7, took a report from a motorist who claimed he’d been punched in the back of the head by passengers brawling in the back seat of his car, and that they had broken a car window. Police heard conflicting stories, and surmised  alcohol might have been involved, but eventually arranged for the passengers to pay to fix the window.

On April 8:

  • Accepted an iPhone found near the Park Squeeze restaurant on Main Street, but have yet to find its owner.
  • Cited José Hernandez, 30, of Ferrisburgh, for driving under the influence of alcohol following a one-car accident on Macdonough Drive.

On April 9 and 10, helped state police by backing them up on a case of disorderly conduct on Stanton Road in Panton. Police said troopers made an arrest.

On April 10, cited Amberlyn M. Ryan, 29, of Burlington for DUI-drugs refusal after a traffic stop in Ferrisburgh initially made by state police.

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