Tuesday May 21, 2013

KEITH WHITCOMB JR.

Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- Police said a man accused of crashing into guardrails near the hospital while intoxicated told them his vehicle had been taken by Mexicans and that he had chased them off.

Ryan H. Bolton, 22, of Weeks Street, pleaded not guilty Monday in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division to a first offense of driving under the influence of alcohol, and leaving the scene of a crash with property damage. He was released on conditions including that he not consume alcohol, and must obey a check-in schedule at the Bennington Police Department.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer John F. Behan, on May 1 at 2:30 p.m. he received reports of a vehicle hitting guardrails on Dewey Street near Southwestern Vermont Medical Center.

Behan wrote that he found a vehicle matching the description he had been given parked on Weeks Street. The vehicle had heavy front end damage and a man, identified as Bolton, standing next to it observing the damage.

According to Behan, Bolton stumbled when he got into the truck and laid down. When he got out of the car, after being told to twice, he used the truck to support himself while walking. Bolton denied driving near the hospital and said he had just backed the vehicle from the driveway to make room for his parents to pull in later. He also said he had chased two Mexicans away from his vehicle and it had been stolen. He admitted to drinking six beers while inside his house.

Behan said Bolton took a breath test showing his blood-alcohol sample to be .236 percent. Pieces of a vehicle that matched Bolton’s were found near a damaged guardrail on Dewey Street, and according to police Bolton said he had hit a tree on Middle Pownal Road when they spoke to him again to collect insurance information.