KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
BENNINGTON -- A Clover Lane man is accused of inviting an old friend to the woods to catch up, then beating him with a stick over a grudge.
Eric B. Dreiblatt, 21, of Manchester, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to aggravated assault with a weapon. He was ordered not to have contact with Brian Walters, the man he is accused of attacking.
According to an affidavit by Manchester Police Officer Christopher Mason, on Aug. 15. Walters reported to Manchester Police that he had been assaulted. He said he went to meet Dreiblatt at the Lye Brook Falls trail head off Benson Road in Manchester. They were talking by a rock formation when Dreiblatt picked up a stick one inch in diameter and hit Walters repeatedly. Walters ran and was chased, being hit and kicked several more times.
Walters told police Dreiblatt was upset with him over a romantic relationship Walters had with a girl who had been involved with Dreiblatt three years ago.
Some hours later, Walters contacted police saying he was in shock over the incident and had left things out of his written statement. He said the stick Dreiblatt used looked out of place, being free of branches and leaves but not dry or dead. He believed Dreiblatt planned the attack. In a more detailed statement, he told police he was chased by Dreiblatt to a steep river bank where he continued to hit him with the stick. He said he was hit in the head and could have been rendered unconscious and suffered further injury from falling into the river.
Police said photos were taken of Walters showing bruising and red marks where he said he had been hit.
Police said they called Dreiblatt who sounded confused as to why they were calling. Dreiblatt said he had not seen Walters for a few weeks and wished to speak to an attorney. On Aug. 16 Dreiblatt’s attorney, James Dingley, contacted police and said his client would come to the police station to pick up a citation.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.