Manchester business owner faces charges

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DORSET — A local business owner and active community member is facing several charges following what police described as a domestic incident on June 3.

Clarke Comollo, 62, of East Dorset, was arrested the following day on a charge of domestic assault, according to court documents. A charge of simple assault on a protected professional was added after authorities said he tried to kick a sheriff's deputy after his arrest.

Comollo pleaded not guilty to both misdemeanor charges when he appeared in Bennington Superior Court Criminal Division on Wednesday. He is represented by the Bennington County Public Defender's Office.

According to the sworn statement of a Bennington County sheriff's deputy, a woman said Comollo had grabbed her by the hair and punched her in the head while he was drinking at home on June 3. The woman was able to flee.

When she returned the next day, Comollo was at the house and intoxicated, so she called the police, according to the report. The deputy who issued the affidavit, Sgt. Jesse Bravata, was the first to arrive on scene.

Bravata said he found Comollo sitting in a taxi cab, drinking from a whiskey bottle. After the woman reported having been assaulted the previous night, Bravata said he saw no marks on her but "it felt like there were bumps on the top of her head."

When the deputy placed Comollo under arrest, Bravata said that Comollo continued to hurl profane insults at him. However, Comollo agreed to provide a breath sample, Bravata reported, and the sample registered a blood-alcohol content of .222. A BAC of 0.08 is the threshold for drunken driving.

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Comollo was transported to the Manchester Police Department for processing. While there, Bravata said Comollo attempted to kick him in the groin, striking his thumb.

After Comollo sobered up, the court allowed him to be released from the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Center under conditions that included staying away from the woman he was accused of hitting.

On Wednesday, Vermont State Police said in a news release that Comollo was reported to have violated that condition. Troopers reportedly found him hiding in an upstairs closet of a Dorset residence. He was arrested again without incident on a charge of violating conditions of his release.

Wednesday afternoon, Judge William Cohen imposed bail of $5,000 and a lengthy list of conditions. Among them are that Comollo stay away from the victim, check in at the Manchester Police Department daily and submit to a breath alcohol test when requested by police.

Comollo was convicted in Bennington County on charges of driving while under the influence in 2011 and 2014. He pleaded guilty both times, according to court records.

Comollo is the owner, with his wife, of Comollo Antiques and Wine in Manchester. He is one of the administrators of a popular Facebook group in the area, Northshire Community Forum. He also leads a local musicians' jam.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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