Not guilty plea to endangering toddler

Thursday April 18, 2013


Staff Writer

BENNINGTON -- Police said they arrested a man for child endangerment after he attempted to make a 2-year-old child regurgitate an illegally purchased Suboxone pill.

William Cote, 32, of Darling Street, pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of cruelty to a child under 10, reckless endangerment, and domestic assault. He was released on conditions that he not have unsupervised contact with either of his children except while giving them rides to and from school.

According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Detective Anthony Silvestro, on April 15 he learned from the Department of Children and Families about a report of a 2-year-old having eaten a Suboxone pill.

Suboxone is a prescription medication that contains buprenorphine, a narcotic. It is used to treat opioid addiction.

Cote told police that on April 13 he was home with his two children and stepped outside to smoke a cigarette. The older of the two, a 5-year-old, came out and told him that the younger child was on a countertop and had put something in her mouth.

When he went inside the younger child was still on the countertop and appeared to have bitten into and spit out a pill. He said he had hidden a Suboxone pill, which he has no prescription for and purchased for $20 from someone, behind a glass figurine on a windowsill. It did not appear the child had eaten much of the pill but he gave her bread and water and took her to the bathroom where he placed his fingers down her throat to induce vomiting.

The child appeared fine at the time, said Cote, but when his fiancé returned 45 minutes after the incident the child "was not looking so good." They brought the child to the hospital where she was held overnight and released the following day. According to the affidavit a test of the child’s urine was positive for buprenorphine.

Silvestro wrote that Cote said he panicked and used poor judgment in not bringing the child to the hospital immediately. He said he had tried to get Suboxone legally but it had been difficult.

Corsones said Cote does not have a history of child abuse and according to Cote’s attorney, Frederick Bragdon, the children’s mother was in support of the release conditions.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr


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