YOU KNOW THINGS haven’t gone to plan when the neighbour has to call the police station to tell cops their cars are being crushed.
Working in a stout former bank building with windows closed and air conditioners humming, the sheriff’s deputies in Vermont didn’t know what was happening in their parking lot until a helpful neighbour called 911.
A man on a big farm tractor, angry about his recent arrest for resisting arrest and marijuana possession, was rolling across their vehicles — five marked cruisers, one unmarked car and a transport van.
By the time they ran outside, the tractor was down the driveway and out onto the road.
With their vehicles crushed, “We had nothing to pursue him with,” said Chief Deputy Philip Brooks.
“We had nothing to pursue him with.” (AP Photo/Northland Journal, Scott Wheeler)
Thursday afternoon’s incident ended when city police in Newport, Vermont, caught up with Roger Pion, 34, a short distance away.
No one was injured. At least two deputies had gone inside a few moments before after washing their vehicles, officials said.
“Nobody was hurt. That’s the thing everybody’s got to cherish,” said Sheriff Kirk Martin, who estimated damage to the vehicles at more than $300,000; state police put it at more than $250,000.
Not only were their roofs and hoods caved in, but “the radios are ruined, the radar detectors, the cages in the cars … We’re going to have to get the jaws of life up here to pry the trunks open and see about the rifles and shotguns,” Martin said.
Brooks said the destroyed vehicles constituted more than half the fleet of sheriff’s cruisers in the rural county on the Canadian border. Others were out on patrol at the time of the incident.