Police: Man passed out drunk while stalking woman
By Patrick McArdle
BENNINGTON — A man is facing criminal charges after police said he stalked an Arlington woman who said she was trying to stay away from him so she could maintain her sobriety.
Gerald V. Vaughn-Tifft, 54, of Sandgate, was arraigned Wednesday in Bennington criminal court on misdemeanor charges of stalking and driving under the influence of alcohol.
In an affidavit, Sgt. Jesse Robson, a trooper with the Vermont State Police, said he and another trooper were sent to Roy’s Road in Arlington on Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. Police were told a “male stalker,” later identified as Vaughn-Tifft was passed out in his truck near a woman’s home.
Robson said he spoke with the woman who said she was an alcoholic. After eight years sober, she told police she had relapsed when she began drinking with Vaughn-Tifft until going to a rehabilitation facility Aug. 4.
After leaving the facility, she decided she didn’t want to see Vaughn-Tifft because she is “being careful with her sobriety and feels as though his presence in her life would put her sobriety at risk,” she told Robson.
The woman said she ran into Vaughn-Tifft unexpectedly at the Vermont State Fair on Sept. 7 and told him she was done with drinking and wanted him to leave her alone.
On Tuesday, she found she had a message on her answering machine from Vaughn-Tifft saying he loved her and was 100 yards from her home. The message caused the woman “substantial emotional distress” and she called police, Robson said.
Robson said police found Vaughn-Tifft passed out behind the steering wheel of his truck on a side street near the woman’s home. Robson said he opened the door and, “smelled the strong odor of intoxicants and urine.”
“It appeared to me that Gerald was waiting for (the woman) to arrive home. However, he passed out while waiting,” Robson said.
A preliminary breath test taken around 11:40 p.m. Tuesday indicated Vaughn-Tifft’s blood alcohol content was 0.122 percent.
The legal limit in Vermont is 0.08 percent.
Vaughn-Tifft, who pleaded innocent to the charges, was released without bail after his arraignment.