BENNINGTON >> A man wanted by police in other states is being held without bail after crashing his vehicle Wednesday on Route 7, leaving the scene, and giving false information to police.
Howard Allen Cooper, 46, of Bennington, pleaded not guilty Thursday in Vermont Superior Court Criminal Division to a felony count of identity theft, and misdemeanor counts of a second offense of driving under the influence, careless or negligent vehicle operation, and false information to police. He was held for lack of $15,000 bail and was charged as a habitual offender.
According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Lauren Ronan, on Wednesday police responded to a crash near the Village Market off Route 7 in Pownal. A woman told police that a black Corvette came up behind her doing over 80 mph, forcing her into another lane to avoid a collision. The vehicle went off the road near a swamp. She stopped to see if the driver was hurt. He blamed her for the crash and asked her not to call the police before walking south towards Bennington.
Police spoke to another driver who corroborated her story.
The Corvette's driver, Cooper, was located by police and taken into custody. He appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant but did not consent to a blood test, only a breath test that showed he had not consumed any alcohol.
Initially, Cooper gave the name of another relative but then told police who he really was. Police then learned of his arrest warrants, saying he has a warrant issued out of Vermont from 1996 related to check fraud and forgery, a warrant issued from Connecticut for a parole violation, and a warrant out of California for a weapons offense. Police did not specify how old the latter two warrants were.
Cooper told police he was aware of the Connecticut warrant.
— Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at 802-447-7567 Ext. 115