Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A shocking story

A cheap pun, I know, but how often do you get to report on police purchasing stun guns for the whole department? In Stowe, not very often.

In this week's Stowe Reporter I have a story on police getting four more Tasers, a particular brand of stun gun. Now, the department will have 14 in all.

After filing my story I took a trip down to the station off South Main Street for picture of the Taser and Officer Chris McHugh, who gave an electrifying demonstration. You gotta be careful with these things. Turns out most officers who used the stun guns take a zap themselves so they know just what they're dishing out. It's great way to freeze unruly people in their tracks if they attack officers or resist arrest, police say.

Still, there's controversy surrounding the use of Tasers. Some news reports, such as from CBS News two years ago, investigates the "Taser danger," concluding that 70 people at the time had died after being "TASERed." The company Taser "asserts every one of these victims died of something else," while critics think "the company has not done enough research to know that with certainty."

A similar debate went on years ago when mace spray was introduced, McHugh told me this morning, and he thinks this controversy, too, will fizzle eventually.

So far, Stowe police say they've TASERed three people.

Police Blotter: July 17-23

Stowe police statistics

Total incidents: 101
Total tickets: 14
Total warnings: 23

From recent reports:

July 17, Louis Marsh, 33, of Eden Mills was arrested on a warrant and charged with driving with a suspended license.
July 17, Michael Porcelli, 30, of Morrisville was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, careless and negligent driving, attempting to elude police, and resisting arrest.
July 18, a dog was impounded off Grey Birch Road.
July 19, Stowe Country Club reported the theft of a food and beverage cart, which was found later in a ravine.
July 19, Pamela Christopher of Stowe reported the burglary of a house. Police said burglars forced their way into the house and ransacked the inside, but nothing appeared to be stolen.
July 20, police found a cellular telephone off Cottonbrook Road.
July 20, three dogs were impounded — two off Mountain Road and another off Pinnacle Road.
July 20, Monica Tartsanyi of Stowe reported the theft of $2,000 from a room off South Main Street.
July 21, Louise Koper of Stowe reported the burglary of a house. Police said burglars likely entered from the garage and ransacked the inside, but nothing appeared to be stolen.
July 22, Zachary Sigler, 26, of Stowe was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
July 23, two dogs were impounded off River Road.
July 23, Lynn McGuigan, 40, of Montreal was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
July 23, Scott Hankin of Massachusetts reported a missing money clip with $400 in Stowe.
July 23, David Hine of Arizona reported a missing passport and green card in Stowe.

Friday, July 21, 2006

First post

Here's the first post for The Blotter. Exciting, eh?

For starters, here's this past week's Police Blotter:

Police Blotter

Stowe Police Statistics (July 10-16)


Total incidents: 99
Total tickets: 6
Total warnings: 22


From recent reports:

June 17, Christopher Lyon, 28, of Johnson was charged with possession of narcotic drugs.
July 8, Izak Riordan, 19, of Rutland was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license and illegal possession of alcohol.
July 10, police found a syringe near the town recreation building off Park Street.
July 10, Alvah Ruggles of Barton reported losing a bag in Stowe containing a cellular telephone and camera.
July 10, Jon Dubick, 38, of Stowe was charged with violating an abuse prevention order. (On July 11, Dubick was charged with two counts of violating a restraining order.)
July 11, Jessica Crosby of Burlington reported losing a money clip off Cape Cod Road.
July 11, Kara Kidder of Morrisville reported losing a wallet off Weeks Hill Road.
July 11, Elias Audy of Morrisville reported theft of a wallet from a car parked off Mountain Road.
July 12, Sarah Davinchi of Burlington reported losing a cellular telephone off South Main Street.
July 12, Jason Cannon, 24, of Winooski was arrested on an outstanding warrant.
July 14, Penny Dye of California reported losing a gold ring with pearls off Church Hill Lane.
July 15, the Innsbrook Inn reported a possible telephone scam. Police are investigating.
July 15, Robin Cote of Morrisville reported losing a purse containing credit cards and a cellular telephone off Mountain Road.
July 15, John Mika, 19, of Stowe was charged with illegal possession of alcohol.
July 16, Ryan Cooley of Stowe reported losing a cellular telephone off Mountain Road.
July 16, Leonard Gorski of Quebec reported vandalism at a condominium unit off Notchbrook Road.
July 17, Curtis Bates of Maine reported theft of a satellite radio and wallet from a car parked off Mountain Road.
July 17, Christopher Foran of Massachusetts reported losing keys off Cottonbrook Road.