BENNINGTON — A Pownal man has been fined $700 after admitting to criminal behavior during the painting of Bennington’s Black Lives Matter mural last summer.
Shawn Corcoran, 56, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor offenses: simple assault and disorderly conduct, according to court records.
Authorities said Corcoran committed the offenses while trying to disrupt the painting of “Black Lives Matter” on South Street last Aug. 30. As volunteers were painting the words on the street, town police said they saw Corcoran squeeze another man’s shirt collar with both hands and push him 5-10 feet backwards.
Corcoran, who was described in a sworn police statement as smelling of “intoxicants,” was arrested on site.
A crowd of approximately 250 people attended the public event, including supporters and protesters of the mural painting.
A 23-year-old woman, identified as Lucina Schultz, also complained that Corcoran had grabbed her and pushed her to the ground. This happened while she was “helping to hold the line over the word ‘black,’” the Bennington police affidavit quoted Schultz as saying.
She reported suffering injuries from the assault, including the flare-up of a previous nerve injury.
Corcoran pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, the very day he appeared in Bennington Superior Court to answer to the charges. As penalty, a judge ordered Corcoran to pay a total of $754 in fines and surcharges, court records show. He represented himself in court.
Police said he also has a criminal history in Florida, Montana and New York.
Another person arrested during the mural painting, Max Misch, has pleaded not guilty to allegations of disorderly conduct.
The self-described white nationalist and Army veteran is scheduled to appear in court Monday for a status hearing on this, and four other, criminal cases. The cases had been put on hold late last year while Misch’s appeal on firearm ammunition charges had been pending with the Vermont Supreme Court.
On Friday, the court denied Misch’s appeal, paving the way for his prosecution to continue.