KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- After a New York man allegedly evaded police who tried to pull him over for speeding, he stopped at a store so his passenger could buy flowers for his girlfriend before police found him again and picked up the pursuit.
Brett Stone, 20, of Hoosick Falls, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Vermont Superior Court to a felony count of attempting to elude a police officer, and misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, and gross or negligent vehicle operation. He was released on conditions that he not drive except between his house and Arlington, Vt., for work purposes.
According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Justin Walker, on Monday at 5:40 p.m. he was on Route 7 in Shaftsbury when he tracked a 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse traveling 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. He said he attempted to pull the vehicle over, but it accelerated to speeds of over 100 mph. He lost sight of it around Exit 2.
He and other troopers searched for the car but to no avail. After some time, Walker spotted it on Route 67 in Shaftsbury and once more tried to get it to pull over, only it sped up to 75 mph and fled again. He said the car was over the posted speed limits by more than 20 mph and many cars had to pull over for it. It also ran at least one stop sign. Walker said he chased the vehicle down Airport Road, past Fox Hill Road, and onto Cider Brook Road where the car slid off the road. He said both the driver and passenger got out and, not knowing their intentions, Walker drew his firearm and ordered them to get on their stomachs, which they did.
The driver, Stone, apologized for running and said the first time he saw Walker he fled because he was in a hurry to get himself and his passenger home, plus he did not want a speeding ticket.
Stone said after the first encounter with Walker, he stopped at the North Bennington Variety Store so his passenger could purchase flowers for his girlfriend. Stone said he was taking his passenger to his home in Shaftsbury when he saw Walker once more and again fled. He admitted that his actions were stupid.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.