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Trial’s on in case of Vt. cruiser crushing
Two of the Orleans County, Vt., Sheriff's Department cruisers police say Roger Pion destroyed in August 2012. (COURTESY)
When Pion, who’s had extensive dealings with Vermont police over the years, was finished, the destroyed vehicles and their contents were as flat as if they’d been run through a car crusher.
After a mental-health evaluation, a judge declared Pion incompetent to stand trial on more than a dozen charges against him in connection with the destructive rampage, most of them felony-level counts of unlawful mischief.
His new attorney, Chandler Matson of Stowe, Vt., said last week Pion is tentatively scheduled for trial in May in Orleans County Superior Court in Newport, Vt.
When officers inside the sheriff’s department at the time became aware of what Pion was allegedly doing outside, they ran to the parking lot where they spotted the wreckage and saw Pion slowly driving away. With their vehicles flattened, they chased the tractor on foot. Newport City Police joined the pursuit, and Pion was apprehended a short time later.
However, Pion became a folk hero of sorts, with an online fund drive netting him the $10,000 cash portion he needed to make bail.Orleans County Sheriff Kirk Martin did not return a message left for him Friday.
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