Police: Poultney teens pepper spray sheriff’s deputy
By Darren Marcy
Staff Writer | June 18,2014
POULTNEY — Two teenagers picked the wrong victim Monday afternoon in Poultney.
The boys, who were not identified by authorities, allegedly pepper-sprayed an off-duty sheriff’s deputy, a retired member of the Vermont State Police, as he jogged along Main Street about 4:15 p.m.
Deputy Edward H. Hunter, 53, turned and gave chase despite the effects of the pepper spray, catching and holding at least one of the boys, both of whom were on bicycles.
Three state troopers and Fair Haven police responded and questioned the boys, holding them until parents arrived.
Trooper Walter Ribeiro cited the boys to appear in juvenile court at a later date to answer to the charge of simple assault.
Police were investigating whether the pepper spray that was used had been stolen from a local hardware store.
Vermont State Police Lt. Charles Cacciatore said the two boys were apparently riding their bikes on the sidewalk toward Hunter just before they sprayed him.
Cacciatore said there was no indication the boys knew Hunter was a deputy or targeted him for any reason except that he was the next person to come along.
“It was just a haphazard deal,” Cacciatore said.
Hunter was treated at the scene by the Poultney Rescue Squad.
Cacciatore said Hunter’s face was sore after the assault.
Sheriff Stephen Benard said Tuesday Hunter returned to duty and appeared to be well on his way to recovering from the incident, although, he said, the effects of pepper spray can linger for days.