BENNINGTON -- A Readsboro man is accused of ramming his truck into the back of another man’s riding lawnmower after the two had exchanged rude gestures.
Gregory Chittenden, 62, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to aggravated assault with a weapon. He was released under the conditions that he not possess a firearm, or have contact with, or go near, Raymond Gray, who he is accused of assaulting. He is also under a 24-hour curfew at a home on Oberdorf Road. Bail in the amount of $2,500 was also imposed.
According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Christopher Burnett, on Sunday at 7 p.m. Gray called police to say that Chittenden had assaulted him.
While en route to the call, police were told by dispatchers that Chittenden had called to say Gray pulled a gun on him.
Gray told police that Chittenden had driven past a property where Gray was moving the lawn on a riding mower. Chittenden "flipped him off" and Gray returned the gesture. As Gray was driving the mower up the driveway towards a trailer, Chittenden drove up behind him and rammed the mower with his truck. This threw Gray from the vehicle.
Chittenden got out and said, "How do you like that, (Expletive)?" Gray then pulled out a pistol he kept on a hip holster and pointed it at Chittenden’s truck. Chittenden said he was going home and would return with a shotgun. After he left, Gray called police.
Burnett wrote that damage the trailer and mower plus tire marks in the driveway corroborated Grays story.
Chittenden’s story matched Gray’s to a certain point. He said he did not drive his vehicle into the mower until Gray pulled the gun on him. He said he intended to "have words" with Gray, but never got out of his vehicle and did not make any threats. He rammed the mower because of the gun, he said. Gray pointed the gun at him a second time, the two exchanged words, then Chittenden left.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.