Argument on city street leads to injury; criminal charges
By Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | February 16,2013
Vyto Starinskas / Staff Photo
Jacob A. Vandenburgh, his hand bandaged after allegedly breaking a car mirror and punching the car’s owner Friday, is put into a police cruiser on Forest Street in Rutland.
One man was taken to the hospital, the other to jail Friday after an altercation that Rutland City Police said started in the middle of a downtown intersection.
Police were called to the corner of Church and West streets just before 1 p.m. for a reported fight.
They found Kevin Tanner, 47, conscious but with his face bleeding from a blow that police said was delivered by 18-year-old Jacob A. Vandenburgh of Rutland.
Vandenburgh wasn’t at the intersection when officers arrived, but police said he was located and arrested a short while later as he walked on Forest Street.
Vandenburgh was charged with a felony count of aggravated assault and misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful mischief. He was taken to the Rutland jail where he remained held on $50,000 bail Friday night.
Tanner, who police said may have suffered broken bones in his face during the incident, was taken to Rutland Regional Medical Center where he was listed in fair condition Friday afternoon.
Descriptions of the events that led to the altercation are conflicting.
Police Lt. Kevin Geno said initial reports were that Vandenburgh was walking in front of vehicles on West Street. When Tanner confronted him, Geno said, the younger man punched him in the face and knocked him out.
Geno said he had no information about what motivated the assault.
But Keean Welch, one of a group of friends that Vandenburgh was reportedly with at the time of the incident, gave a different account.
Welch said Vandenburgh was crossing West Street when Tanner pulled into the intersection and “brushed” up against him with his car.
Welch said Vandenburgh shouted angry words at Tanner, who rolled down his window and shouted back.
“Jake went up and punched his mirror off and walked away,” Welch said. “The guy got out of his car and when he did Jake threw me his coat. The guy pushed Jake and when he did, he hit him back. What else was he supposed to do?”
Police Sgt. James Tarbell said Vandenburgh provided a similar statement.
Vandenburgh and his friends left the intersection before officers arrived, police said. Welch and several other witnesses were found on Granger Street, police said, while Vandenburgh left the group and walked downtown with his injured hand — bleeding from scrapes after punching the mirror — wrapped in a bandage.