BENNINGTON -- A Shaftsbury man is facing a felony charge for twisting a state trooper's thumb during an arrest that involved the use of Tasers and pepper spray.
Milo E. Tudor Jr., 37, pleaded not guilty Monday in Vermont Superior Court to aggravated assault on a police officer, and a misdemeanor charge of resisting arrest. He was released on conditions that require him to stay in Bennington County and not have contact with his former landlord.
According to an affidavit by Vermont State Trooper Jesse Robson, the trooper who was allegedly injured, on March 24 Tudor came to the State Police barracks in Shaftsbury to complain that his landlord was trespassing in his apartment. Robson wrote that Tudor did not like how police resolved that situation, and became verbally abusive to troopers there and to dispatchers. He called the barracks at 1 a.m. and demanded a trooper take his statement. Robson told another trooper, Justin Walker, not to meet Tudor at the barracks, but offer to meet him at the Bennington Police Department. Tudor was unhappy with this as well.
On March 26, after investigating the incident with the landlord, troopers decided to charge Tudor with unlawful mischief and to arrest him when they found him because he had been exhibiting threatening behavior.
Two days later, Tudor went to his former apartment and told the current tenants to stop paying their rent. The landlord went to confront him, but he left before police got there. Troopers saw his vehicle pull into a driveway on Grouse Lane, and saw him enter the woods. Given the minor nature of the charge and the fact troopers suspected he wanted them to go into the woods for a confrontation, they told his girlfriend to tell Tudor to come to the barracks later.
He showed up at the barracks at 11:20 p.m. and threatened to leave if troopers did not show up soon. When Robson found him, Tudor was wearing rubber gloves, had his hands in his pockets, andwas standing next to his girlfriend. Robson said police had received word that Tudor may have had the woman carry a pistol for him, as he is on probation and not allowed to have one. Tudor refused to take his hands out of his pockets, and so Robson went to arrest him.
Tudor put his hands behind his back, and to avoid a fight Robson told him to enter the barracks. Inside, Tudor refused to go beyond a certain point, so Robson pointed his Taser at Tudor and told him to stop. Tudor tried to go through a door, so he was shot with the Taser. Both prongs struck his heavy, Carhartt jacket and had no effect.
Tudor ran outside and blocked being pepper sprayed by Robson. His girlfriend was in his truck, and he shouted for her to start it, which she did. Robson told her not to drive off, and sprayed the truck's grill with pepper spray, hoping to flood its interior and prevent any escape. He then opened the door and sprayed Tudor.
Trooper Thomas Stange arrived to help, as Tudor was not allowing Robson to restrain him. Robson wrote the he struck Tudor's midsection with his knee and lifted his jacket so Stange could shoot him with his Taser. This only had a slight effect on Tudor, who grabbed Robson by the thumb and twisted, injuring the thumb and wrist. Tudor was hit once more with the Taser and was arrested.
After being seen by a rescue squad, he was taken to the Rutland jail. Robson said he was left with pain in his thumb, wrist, and lower back. Tudor provided a breath sample showing his blood-alcohol level to be .190 percent.
Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at firstname.lastname@example.org or @kwhitcombjr on Twitter.