A disgruntled farmer in a small Vermont town took out his beef on the local law enforcement Thursday when he crushed most of the Sheriff’s Department’s fleet of police cars with a tractor while the cops were cooling off inside the building.
Police cars flattened monster-truck style
Roger Pion, 34, of Newport, Vt., allegedly used his red tractor to crush seven of the town’s only 11 police cruisers, monster truck-style, while they were parked outside of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday afternoon. That left officers without a working vehicle to pursue the car-flattener with.
And it was no easy task. The cars were not lined up properly for his assault, so Pion initially used his tractor to line them up just so before driving over them. Twice.
Hear no evil
Incredibly, the officers inside the building did not hear any of this commotion under the cooling purr of the air conditioners inside. It was only after receiving a 911 call from a witness that they ran outside to see the wreckage.
Chief Deputy Philip Brooks told the Burlington Free Press:
“We had nothing to pursue him with. It’s more than half our fleet.”
Brooks commandeered a car from a nearby service station before he could pursue the suspect.
Taken at gunpoint
Pion was apprehended at gunpoint about a mile down the road, but not without allegedly trying to back over one of the vehicles that was pursuing him. Pion also had a loaded handgun on him at the time of the arrest.
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Nobody was hurt in the incident, but police sources estimate the damage to the cars and the equipment inside them at about a quarter of a million dollars.
Sheriff Kirk Martin told the Associated Press:
“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. The radios are ruined.”
Since then, Pion has been charged with 14 counts, including felony unlawful mischief, leaving the scene of an accident and aggravated assault. He is being held on a $50,000 bond.
A running grievance
It seems Pion may have a running grievance with the law enforcement personnel in his little town. According to CBS News, he was arrested last month for charges of possessing marijuana and resisting arrest.
Pion is scheduled to appear before a judge on the matter on Tuesday, August 7.