BENNINGTON — A Garbrook Drive man accused of trying to sell blood thinner pills as prescription painkillers and assaulting a man with a baseball bat, is being held for lack of $10,000 bail.
Fernando Corrales, 52, was arrested by Bennington Police Sunday. He pleaded not guilty in Vermont Superior Court Thursday to felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and obstructing justice, and misdemeanor charges of giving false information to a police officer and attempting to sell a non-controlled drug as a controlled drug.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer Robert Murawski, he was dispatched to Grandview Street for a reported assault Sunday at about 12 p.m.
The alleged victim, a 27-year-old man, told police that Corrales came to his Main Street apartment roughly half an hour prior and offered to sell him 34 Oxycodone pills.
He said he and his girlfriend got into Corrales' vehicle, who then drove them to Beech Street to complete the transaction. The man said he gave Corrales $363 for the 34 pills, which he gave to his girlfriend to sell. He said soon after he learned the pills were blood thinner medication, not prescription painkillers.
During a confrontation, Corrales allegedly ordered the man from his vehicle and tried to pull him out before he took a metal baseball bat from his trunk. Corrales allegedly swung the bat at the man, grazing his face and arm. The man also alleged that Corrales ripped up the cash and threw it out the window along with the man's keys while driving on Weeks Street.
In an interview with police in front of his home, Corrales said he went to the apartment to collect $180 he lent the man about six weeks prior. He then drove around town with the man and his girlfriend, who said they could get more money. Corrales said he believed the woman was at one point making a drug deal and ordered the man from the car, but he refused. He denied taking part in a drug transaction, knowing anything about the money, and threatening anyone with the baseball bat.
Ten minutes after speaking with police, Corrales was found on foot near Weeks and South Streets, where he and another man were looking for something on the ground.
Police found crumpled up and torn $20 and $1 bills on the other man, who said he did not know Corrales well. Also recovered was a set of keys with a Price Chopper Supermarket card, which belonged to the complainant's girlfriend.
Murawski noted in his affidavit that he did not observe any marks or bruises on the alleged victim.
He also noted Corrales became uncooperative and verbally abusive when he was detained. While being transported by the Bennington County Sheriff Department, Corrales broke out the back window of a cruiser.
Judge David A. Howard set bail at $10,000. For lack of bail payment, Corrales was ordered to Marble Valley Correctional Facility in Rutland.
Corrales is being represented by the Bennington County Public Defender's Office and will return to court Feb. 3 for a discovery conference.