Alleged ‘out of nowhere’ assault concerns judgeFebruary 20,2013By Brent Curtis
Jacob A. Vandenburgh is only 18 years old, but a Rutland judge decided his young age was less a factor in setting bail than the allegations that he hospitalized a man last week for apparently little reason.
“He’s only 18 years old and I’m torn about that ... and yet the allegations appear to be quite serious and involved a violent assault that seemingly came out of nowhere,” Judge Nancy Corsones said during Vandenburgh’s arraignment Tuesday in Rutland criminal court.
The Rutland man, listed as a transient but with a number of family members in the area according to court records, pleaded innocent to a felony charge of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor count of unlawful mischief.
The charges were brought against him following an altercation police said Vandenburgh had with a motorist at the intersection of West and Wales streets Feb. 15.
The violence that concerned the judge was spelled out in an affidavit filed by Rutland City Police who said the man Vandenburgh punched, Kevin Tanner, 47, was knocked unconscious and had multiple facial bones broken.
Hours after the incident, Tanner couldn’t remember his name, date of birth or the assault, police said
Public defender Mary Kay Lanthier said Vandenburgh could stay with his grandmother if released. She asked for 24-hour-a-day curfew rather than the $5,000 bail sought by the prosecution.
“He’s unemployed, so there’s no way he could meet that amount,” Lanthier said.
Corsones agreed that the bail request was too high, but she also said a curfew didn’t go far enough to supervise Vandenburgh.
“His mental state is a concern,” she said. “I’m concerned that at 18, he’s beyond the ability of a grandmother to monitor.”
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