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Bristol Police Log: Police pursue truck into landfill

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BRISTOL — A Bristol police officer was on patrol just past midnight on June 4, traveling on Pine Street by the intersection of Taylor Avenue, when he saw a Chevy S10 truck traveling in the opposite direction with no front license plate and what the police report called an exhaust pipe that was “distinctively loud.”

The officer turned around to make a routine traffic stop, when the truck took off, accelerating down Pine Street to the landfill and up a trail from the landfill to the high school. Although the trail was blocked with tree stumps, police Chief Kevin Gibbs said the driver found a way onto the trail, although it damaged his car. Police estimated his speed at 55 mph when he entered the landfill area.

The officer turned around and headed to the other side of campus but missed him. The officer got a tip on June 5 and located the vehicle and the driver, who police identified as Edward Lafayette-Wimette, 18, of Lincoln, in an apartment on Villa Drive.

Police said Lafayette-Wimette admitted to driving the night prior and cited him for attempting to elude police.

In other activity between May 17 and June 12, Bristol police: 

•  On May 17, received a report of a bad check paid to Wokky’s Chinese Restaurant on Main Street for $55. Police said they plan to cite the letter writer for passing bad checks.

•  On May 18, received numerous reports that many items were stolen from vehicles parked along Mountain Street and Mountain Terrace. Such items included radar detectors and cell phones.

•  On May 21, received report of an untimely death at a Maple Street residence. John Bingham, 41, was found dead by his mother after she returned home from Maine. He died of natural causes the night before, said Gibbs.

•  On May 21, charged Jody Cousino, 34, of Bristol with petty larceny. Police allege that he stole an outdoor flowerpot from a Pleasant Street resident to give to his mother for Mother’s Day. Police said a neighbor saw Cousino steal the pot and reported him. Police recovered the pot.

•  On May 22, received a report of a sex offense. A 15-year-old male was accused of inappropriately touching two 12-year-old girls at the recreation field. The females indicated that there was inappropriate touching, but another male present said that nothing had happened. Gibbs said the case likely won’t go to prosecution because it’s difficult to charge someone with something when an impartial witness says that nothing happened.

•  On May 24,  arrested Eric Loyer, 20, of Bristol for violation of conditions of release.

•  On May 27, located some livestock on Burpee Road. The farmer retrieved the animals without delay.

•  On May 29, received a report of vandalism to a Yamaha motorcycle parked next to The Hub teen center. Somebody tipped the bike over, threw a big rock on it and bags of trash on it. The bike belonged to one of the Hub employees.

•  On May 30, a four-year-old boy was found on South Street after his brother came to the municipal office and requested help finding him.

•  On June 1, received a report of a theft from a vehicle parked on Spring Street.

•  On June 2, assisted state police with a vehicle search in the Rockydale Pizza parking lot. The Vermont State Police K-9 unit came to search for drugs and none were found.

•  On June 2, located an eight-year-old who had run away from the town green about six miles from Bristol. His grandmother took him to the park, and when she left she thought he had gotten in the car. On her way home, she discovered he was not in the car. When she returned to the park, he was gone.

After she reported the incident to police, an officer requested fire department assistance and K-9 help from Colchester. A Bristol police officer found the boy running up Notch Road.

“He was almost halfway home when we found him,” said Gibbs.

•  On June 3, pulled over Shaun Rublee, 25, of Bristol after running a red light on East Street, and cited him for a criminal count of driving with a suspended license.

•  On June 4, received a report of vandalism at the high school. An anonymous caller reported seeing several subjects in the area with spray cans. Officers arrived to find seniors carrying out a senior class prank in which they put hundreds of red solo cups full of water on the floor of the lobby and other areas of the school

A principal was at the school when the police arrived, and no charges were filed. There was no damage to the school other than that the janitors had to pick up hundreds of full cups.

•  On June 5, received a report of a missing 14-year-old girl, who hadn’t come home from Mount Abraham Union High School. The officer went to the school to get a picture of her and later located her in Starksboro, returning home.

•  On June 5, received a report from Champlain Farms that a woman had issued three false checks totaling about $150. She was contacted by an officer and agreed to go to the store to make restitution. She was given 10 days to make good on the payments, otherwise she’ll be charged with passing bad checks.

•  On June 6, Gibbs headed over to a West Street residence on June 6 to deal with a complaint that a man’s fiancée was ransacking his place. When Gibbs arrived, he said he found a 28-year-old woman dumping condiments on the floor.

“I almost slipped on a piece of raw chicken,” said Gibbs. “There was pasta on the floor … (and) in other rooms there were doors off the hinges.”

But there was neither an arrest to make nor a notice to be issued.

“There was nothing I could do,” he said. “It’s not illegal to trash your own place, even if you share it with somebody.”

Gibbs said tensions between the couple escalated on June 11.

According to his police report, the woman and the original caller argued while at Lake Dunmore and again at a Middlebury restaurant before returning home to Bristol.

Police said the woman allegedly chased her fiancé out of the West Street apartment with a hammer. The man reportedly disarmed her, threw the hammer into nearby woods, and notified the police of the situation.

As a result of this last incident, police took Jessica Ketchum, 28, of Bristol into custody and charged her with aggravated domestic assault. She was lodged at Chittenden Regional Correction Facility  for lack of $5,000 bail.

•  On June 6, responded to Hinesburg. A Hinesburg officer was pursuing a wanted subject on foot. No one could reach the Hinesburg officer by radio and the Bristol officer was closest to him. En route, the Bristol officer found that the subject was in custody but the officer didn’t have backup. He and a state trooper assisted the Hinesburg officer.

•  On June 6, received a request from the Vermont Department of Children and Families to see if a male sex offender was staying at a West Street residence with children. The woman who lived there indicated that the man had been to the house but wasn’t staying there. 

•  On June 6, located a person for the Richmond Police Department and instructed the individual to call a Richmond officer.

•  On June 7, received report of a domestic dispute on Pleasant Street. Apparently there were pots and pans being thrown around, but the officer did not find any criminal activity

•  On June 8, conducted a START (Stop Teen Alcohol Risk Team) patrol with the county sheriff’s department, Bristol police and state liquor control officials. Gibbs said the team broke up a small private party with underage drinking.

The location of the party was not reported, and one person was ticketed after it was discovered that she had two prior involvements with similar situations and three or four others who were drinking were given court diversion paperwork. A follow-up is being conducted to possibly charge the homeowners with enabling underage consumption.

•  On June 8 and 9, START was activated for graduation weekend. No other underage consumption was identified.

•  On June 8, assisted state police with Jason Kimball of Bristol at Rockydale Pizza, who was issued a trespass notice.

•  On June 9, assisted state police with a domestic disturbance on Hardscrabble Road.

•  On June 9, assisted a Munsill Avenue resident with a dispute over her cat. She pointed to a house across the street and said that the residents of that house have her cat. Chief Gibbs is renting the house that the woman pointed to, and he did not have the cat.

•  On June 9, responded to a two-vehicle crash on West Street. The first vehicle stopped at a crosswalk and the second vehicle rear-ended the first vehicle. Damage was moderate and no one was injured.

•  On June 9, assisted with traffic and crowd control at high school graduation.

•  On June 10, assisted the VSP with an intoxicated subject on Meehan Road in Bristol. Police received a complaint from the subject that someone was burning in a car. When the police arrived there was no vehicle or fire.

En route to the barracks the subject collapsed and was transported to Porter Hospital. The Bristol police report does not indicate whether the man was charged with any crime.

•  On June 10, received a report that roughly $250 was stolen from purses at Mount Abe during graduation. The money was taken from the large cafeteria. The door was not locked, leaving open access to the room. So far, no suspect has been identified.

•  On June 11, responded to a theft at Maplefields. Apparently, the male subject stole some merchandise from the store, including soda and beef jerky. The police are following up on the incident and no charge has yet been filed.

•  On June 12, found a wallet belonging to a Pine Street resident.

•  On June 12, received a 911 call from outside the Bobcat Café and Brewery. The alleged caller said he was outside the restaurant trying to get a signal, but did not dial 911.

•  On June 12, received a report of vandalism at the old Bristol High School. A gate was broken and it appeared that property had been rummaged through outside the building, but nothing was missing. No suspect has been identified.

•  On June 12, received a report that a silver sedan, described as looking like a Mercury with newer Vermont plates, drove away from Maplefields without paying for $45 worth of gas. The Hinesburg Police Department is following up on the case because it seems the plates belong to a Hinesburg resident.

•  On June 12, just before midnight, responded to a Pleasant Street domestic disturbance. The mother of the homeowner said the girlfriend of her son showed up and was yelling and refusing to leave. When police arrived, the woman left on a bicycle, yelling as she rode away.

An officer spoke to the homeowner, and apparently the couple was breaking up. The woman was there to collect her belongings and it didn’t appear that anything criminal occurred.

The homeowner requested a trespass notice, and the his keys were recovered from the ex-girlfriend. By the time of publication, Gibbs expected the trespass notice to have already been served. 

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