Vermont State Police Log: Police say four officers were assaulted
ADDISON COUNTY — A Jan. 29 traffic stop in Salisbury resulted in Vermont State Police levying multiple charges against a Salisbury woman, including assaulting four police officers.
At about 7:20 p.m. this past Wednesday, a Vermont State Police trooper conducted a motor vehicle stop on Route 53 in Salisbury after observing a violation. The trooper identified the drier as 31-year-old Erica Fitzgerald.
During the stop, the trooper alleges that Fitzgerald attempted to provide police with a false name. The trooper also discovered that Fitzgerald was driving with a suspended or revoked license.
While speaking with Fitzgerald, troopers detected signs of impairment, screened her for driving under the influence and then arrested her for suspicion of DUI drugs.
State police took Fitzgerald to the Vergennes Police Department for processing. While at the Vergennes PD, police said Fitzgerald assaulted two troopers and two Vergennes police officers.
They lodged Fitzgerald at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility for lack of $200 bail.
She was cited for DUI-drugs, driving with a criminally suspended license, providing false information to police, and four counts of assault on a law enforcement officer.
Separately, on Jan. 29, between 1 and 5:30 p.m., troopers conducted a saturation patrol on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh. During the saturation patrol, police placed an emphasis on distracted driving and identifying aggressive driving habits. During the patrol, the two troopers
• Stopped 16 motor vehicles
• Issued tickets for using a cell phone to five drivers.
• Found one driver behind the wheel with a suspended license.
• Issued five other tickets and six written warnings.
Vermont State Police remind motorists to not use a handheld electronic device while driving as it has been found to be a contributing factor in crashes. Currently, a driver can be fined $162 and have two points on their license for using a cell phone or other electronic device. An individual operating a commercial motor vehicle can be fined $392 and have two points assessed.
In other recent activity, troopers:
• On Jan. 30 at approximately 7:34 a.m. responded to a two-car crash on Route 7 near Pidgeon’s Gun Shop in New Haven. Police investigation indicated that Michael Cowherd, 62, of Cornwall was driving a 2007 Cadillac DTS northbound on Route 7 when he slowed down when a car in front of him was turning, but the car behind Cowherd, a 1999 Toyota Camry driven by Jamee Barnum, 19, of East Middlebury, slowed but could not stop in time to avoid a collision with the Cadillac.
Alcohol is not believed to have played a factor in the collision. No injuries were reported.
Route 7 was temporarily reduced to one lane of travel.
Vermont State Police were assisted by the New Haven Fire Department and Bristol Rescue Squad.
• On Jan. 30 at approximately 7:25 p.m. saw a 2017 Ford Explorer traveling at an egregiously high rate of speed on Route 74 in Cornwall. Police said a radar clocked the SUV’s speed at 104 mph on a highway posted at 50 mph. The trooper attempted to catch up to the vehicle, but quickly lost sight of it.
The target vehicle was located several moments later on Clark Road laying perpendicular to the roadway and partially in a ditch. It was judged to be a total loss. Police alleged that the driver was not wearing a seat belt.
The trooper identified the driver as Richard Quesnel, 34, of Shoreham. While speaking with Quesnel, the officer observed several signs and indicators of alcohol impairment. Quesnel experienced chest discomfort and was transported to Porter Medical Center as a precautionary measure. After getting a warrant from a court, the trooper had an evidentiary blood sample drawn from Quesnel.
Police cited Quesnel for driving under the influence of intoxicants or other substances, grossly negligent driving and excessive speed. Quesnel was also issued a ticket totaling $792 and with two points assessed to his insurance.
He is due to answer the charges in court on April 6.
• On Jan. 31 at 10:27 p.m. observed a motor vehicle violation and stopped a car on South Water Street in Vergennes. Troopers ended up citing James Dragon, 41, of Vergennes for driving under the influence, third offense.
• On Feb. 1 at about 10 minutes before 10 p.m. stopped a motor vehicle on Route 30 in Whiting. Police cited a passenger identified as Kenneth Clark, 49, of Ferrisburgh for violating two active sets of court issued conditions of release.
• On Feb. 3 at a few minutes before 1 a.m. stopped a motor vehicle for an observed moving violation on East Main Street in East Middlebury. Police cited Kaylin Burt, 30, of Brandon for driving under the influence.