Man denies charges in city weapons incident
By Lucia Suarez
STAFF WRITER | July 06,2013
A Rutland man who tried to force his way into the Rutland criminal courthouse with multiple knives after allegedly threatening to blow up the Social Security office pleaded innocent to several charges Friday.
Parke Keener, 34, was arraigned in criminal court on several misdemeanor charges including bomb threat, attempted assault by menace, and two counts of disorderly conduct.
He was jailed on $15,000 bail and faces up to 40 months in prison if convicted.
This was Keener’s second appearance before a judge this week. Earlier in the week he pleaded innocent to cultivating more than 25 marijuana plants — an offense that carries a potential 15-year jail sentence.
For his most recent arrest Wednesday, Keener, a self-employed computer engineer, police said he threatened to blow up the Asa Bloomer Building on Merchants Row.
City police Officer Jon Dickerson wrote in an affidavit that an employee of the Social Security office in the downtown Rutland building overheard Keener talking to himself, swinging his arms and yelling.
“I will blow them up if I don’t get my check,” Dickerson wrote.
The officer said while they were trying to find Keener in the Bloomer Building, police received a call that Keener was in the courthouse lobby just up the street on Merchants Row.
According to the affidavit, Sheriff’s Cpl. Richard Wilbur, who was working the courthouse’s screening area, told city police that Keener rushed in “raving out loud about someone taking his money away from him.”
Dickerson wrote, “Fearing he was about to cross over the counter, Wilbur radioed for backup.”
Keener then left the courthouse, slamming both front doors as he went.
“Wilbur advised the defendant stated, ‘I’m coming back and I am not going through the metal detector,” Dickerson said.
Keener was taken into custody sometime later in front of the courthouse.
He was found with multiple knives and a portable police scanner, Dickerson wrote. A search of his car found a sword, a bamboo stick used for martial arts and a long wooden stick, the affidavit said.
In court Friday afternoon, Judge Theresa DiMauro ordered a mental health evaluation for competency.
“He meets the need for an inpatient evaluation,” said Kelly Wilson of Rutland Mental Health Services. “He appears to be a person in need of mental-health help.”
She said Keener told her he suffers from bipolar disorder, though mental health records were not available prior to the arraignment.
Keener was heard saying in court, “I don’t want to get stuck in a hospital.” He said the report from the mental health screener was wrong.
“This is ridiculous,” he said.