A Benson man is facing a felony charge after police said he drove over a person’s foot in January in the parking lot of Mac’s Convenience Store in Fair Haven.
Waylon Phillips, 18, pleaded not guilty March 4 in Rutland criminal court to a felony charge of aggravated assault and a misdemeanor charge of grossly negligent driving.
Phillips was released without bail but ordered not to go to the Mac’s store in Fair Haven.
In an affidavit, Sgt. Dale Kerber, of the Fair Haven Police Department, said he was notified around 6:35 a.m. Jan. 16 about the alleged incident at Mac’s on Route 22A in Fair Haven.
At the scene, Kerber said he spoke to Luenn Walker, the store manager, who was outside the store sweeping up broken glass. Walker told Kerber a man had driven a truck into the store’s parking lot at a high rate of speed. The truck hit a person in front of the store, Walker said.
She told Kerber the truck drove around the gas islands and a person who had been pumping gas hit the truck and broke one of its windows.
Walker said the driver of the truck was a frequent customer at Mac’s and had driven “way too fast” in the parking lot on prior occasions. She offered to provide Kerber with video surveillance footage.
Around 8:15 a.m. Jan. 16, Kerber spoke with Kyle M. Jordan, 22, who said he was the person hit by a man he identified as Phillips. He said Phillips’ truck hit his legs and ran over his foot.
“I didn’t see where Waylon went, but he definitely did not stop to see if I was (all right),” Jordan told police, according to the affidavit.
Jordan said he used to be friends with Phillips and didn’t know why Phillips would hit him with his truck.
Taylor A. Jones, 18, told police he was the person who broke the window on Phillips’ truck. He said he was trying to stop Phillips after Phillips allegedly hit Jordan, but the outside rearview mirror on Phillips’ truck hit him in the ribs. Jones said he “swung at the truck” and broke the window.
While Kerber was speaking to witnesses, Phillips’ mother, Michelle Phillips, 44, was at the store and told Kerber she wanted someone charged for breaking the window of the truck. Michelle Phillips owns the truck and told Kerber she wanted someone to pay for the damage.
Michelle Phillips told police the people at the store had been “harassing her son for a long time.”
After Kerber watched the surveillance video, which showed the alleged incident from three angles, he contacted Michelle Phillips about speaking to her son. She told Kerber she had retained an attorney who advised the family to have Waylon Phillips give police his side of the story.
Kerber said he met with Phillips on Jan. 28. In the affidavit, Kerber said Michelle Phillips seemed surprised when he arrested Waylon Phillips.
“M. Phillips agreed that (Waylon Phillips) should not have done this but stated that this was not going to go away. When asked what she was speaking of, she stated the ongoing issues these people have with her son. I advised that someone needed to stop engaging in this fight, and it would eventually go away,” Kerber wrote in the affidavit.
Kerber said Waylon Phillips declined to give a statement at the police station on Jan. 28.
If Waylon Phillips is convicted of both charges against him, he could be sentenced to up to 17 years in prison.