Fire chief enters plea deal to resolve flashlight caseBy Patrick McArdle
STAFF WRITER | January 08,2013BENNINGTON - The chief of the Bennington Rural Fire Department pleaded guilty on Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct after police said he threw a flashlight at a car on June 3 while he was at a fire scene but it’s likely he’ll avoid having a criminal record.
Joseph T. Hayes, 43, of North Bennington, was arraigned in Bennington criminal court in July on the charge of disorderly conduct and a misdemeanor charge of unlawful mischief.
Under the agreement reached on Tuesday, Hayes pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct but the charge of unlawful mischief has been dismissed.
In addition, Hayes’ sentence for the charge was deferred for four months. He will appear before the reparative board and, if he complies with whatever the board requires of him and stays out of further legal trouble, the case will be dismissed and Hayes’ conviction will be sealed.
William D. Wright, the attorney who represented Hayes, continued to maintain that his client had only been doing his duty as a fire chief at the scene of an emergency. He said it had been a “troubling” case for him and his client.
According to Wright, Hayes was on North Bennington Road, handling a situation involving arcing power lines in a tree on June 3 around 10:20 p.m. Wright said Frederick Grant drove through the scene, past the fire police, without slowing down.
Wright said the car drove toward Hayes “rapidly” and Hayes had to move quickly out of the way to avoid being hit.
“As he did so, he sort of instinctively underhanded the flashlight towards the vehicle. I don’t want the impression that he kind of wound-up and was off to the side of the road and threw it because that’s simply not accurate,” Wright said.
For the complete story, see Wednesday's Rutland Herald.
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, striking Colo. miners attacked with machine guns by state police; 1877, Thomas Edison announces invention of the phonograph, 1959, Alan Freed fired by WABC 770 AM for accepting payola to promote records.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivers short speech in Gettysburg, Pa.; in 1984, a Pemex LNG facility destroyed by series of gas explosions, 600 people are killed; in 1998, Senate builds fire under Bill Clinton.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1831 – Independent South American super-state, Gran Colombia, dissolved; 1856 - Fort Buchanan built to control Apache warriors; 1970 - William Calley Jr. goes on trial after 1968 massacre at My Lai, Vietnam.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy takes advantage of Cold War jitters and builds a tidy little fiefdom for himself on Capitol Hill. It's all good, but pride goes before you know darn well what. The junior senator is damaged going down.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in control of the Soviet Union; in 1970, Oregon DOT tries to dynamite a dead whale off a beach with a rather shocking result.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1972, Southern Airways Flight 49 is hijacked, the crew and passengers held for ransom. The hijackers want $10 million and passage to Cuba. In 2007, in Santiago, Chile, King Juan Carlos of Spain loses patience with Hugo Chavez.