A North Chittenden man is facing a misdemeanor charge after police said he caused a disruption at the Killington Resort in February.
Michael Gordon Halliday, 45, of North Chittenden, pleaded not guilty on Monday in Rutland criminal court to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct for fighting.
Halliday, who is representing himself, was offered a chance to go through the Court Diversion program but rejected it. If he had successfully completed Diversion, the charge would have been expunged from his record.
Halliday was released without bail on Monday.
In an affidavit, Vermont State Police Trooper Charles Gardner said Halliday reported he had been assaulted by a ski-lift operator on Feb. 16, around 1 p.m.
At the state police Rutland barracks, Halliday told Gardner he was “wrongfully accused of ‘ducking the ropes’” at Killington. Gardner said Halliday explained that meant he had been accused of riding his snowboard through roped-off sections around the chair lift.
Gardner asked if the accusation was true and Halliday denied it.
Halliday said he had gotten on the ski lift but the operator refused to run it because he believed Halliday ducked the ropes again.
“Halliday advised he refused to leave the line. Halliday advised he told them unless they tell him to leave the line, he wasn’t going to. I asked Halliday, by them asking, wouldn’t it imply that he was being told to leave the line. Halliday advised there is a difference between being asked and being told,” Gardner wrote in the affidavit.
According to Halliday, he was allowed to use the lift but ski patrol members met him at the top of the mountain. They asked him to surrender his ski pass but he refused, Halliday said in the affidavit.
Halliday said he was tackled by John O’Leary, one of the ski patrol members. He said ski patrol members demanded his pass again and he refused again but eventually surrendered his pass and was allowed to leave.
Gardner said Halliday told him the incident happened five hours before he spoke with police. Gardner asked Halliday why he waited so long to report the alleged assault and Halliday said he went to Rutland Regional Medical Center.
Halliday gave Gardner paperwork from his visit to the hospital. Gardner said it showed Halliday was prescribed aspirin.
On Feb. 17, Gardner spoke with Killington ski patrol members.
Randy McGuiness, one of the patrol members, said Halliday had reportedly gone under a roped-off area twice and was being “loud and aggressive” with the ski lift operator.
The incident allegedly shut down the ski lift for almost 10 minutes.
The operator was told to allow Halliday to ride the ski lift so ski patrol could deal with the situation.
McGuiness confirmed that Halliday was asked for his ski pass and refused to show it to the patrol members, but said he then pushed past two of them and attempted to snowboard from the area.
McGuiness said he tried to stop Halliday and they both fell to the ground.
“Randy advised ski patrol caught up to them and Halliday was frothing at the mouth, then, a few minutes later, relinquished his pass,” Gardner said in the affidavit.
O’Leary, the Killington staff member who Halliday accused of assaulting him, told Gardner that during the incident, he grabbed Halliday’s arm to keep him in place until the ski patrol arrived.
“John summed up the interaction with Halliday as Halliday yelling at the Killington employees, failing to follow simple instructions and showing a blatant disregard for the other guests at Killington,” Gardner said.
If convicted of the charge, Halliday could be sentenced to two months in prison.