The gun used by a suspected out-of-state drug dealer in the attempted murder of a Barnet man last month was discovered during the arrest of an armed suspect in downtown St. Johnsbury.
Vincent Schwab, 38, was scheduled to be arraigned on Monday in Caledonia Superior Court on several charges related to the alleged assaults committed by Jashawn L. “Rico” Hunter, 33, of Bloomfield, Conn. including the kidnapping and pistol-whipping of Matthew Goodell, 26, at his Grange Hall Road home.
Schwab did not appear for the hearing but court documents made public on Monday detail his alleged involvement with Hunter as well as a tense moment when he was arrested by Vermont State Police near Railroad Street.
On Sept. 13, VSP Detectives were watching a rental car used by Hunter that was parked in a lot behind several businesses in downtown. At approximately 2:15 p.m., two individuals got into the car and started to drive away but were quickly stopped by police and ordered out of the car and placed in handcuffs. They were identified as Ariya Sweeney, 19, and Schwab.
According to an affidavit filed by Detective Sgt. David Robillard, police asked Schwab if he was armed and Schwab said no.
But then Schwab asked for a water bottle that was in the car. Det. Robillard continued to hold Schwab by the arm while he looked for the bottle but then he suddenly felt something that didn’t feel quite right.
“While looking, I felt Schwab’s left arm pulling away as it was connected to his handcuffed right arm,” wrote Det. Robillard in his report. “When I looked back toward Schwab it appeared that he was attempting to reach into his right front pant pocket with this right hand. I quickly pushed Schwab up against the vehicle and elevated his arms to keep his hand away from this pocket. I asked Schwab what he was trying to grab to which he stated nothing.”
Another trooper, identified as Detective Sgt. Drew Cota, witnessed Schwab trying to grab something from his pocket.
“Det. Sgt. Cota patted down the front right pant pocket of Schwab and then retrieved a .38 S&W model 36 Revolver from Schwab’s front pocket,” wrote Robillard. “This revolver was found to be loaded with two bullets and was identified as being the gun used in the attempted homicide.”
Police continued to search Schwab and found more weapons including two knives in his pockets and another knife hanging from a necklace Schwab was wearing. Police say Schwab was also found to be in the possession of suspected fentanyl.
Schwab later told police that he was letting Hunter deal cocaine, fentanyl and heroin from his apartment at 438 Railroad Street in St. Johnsbury in exchange for free drugs.
Schwab also told police that Hunter had given him the handgun and told him to “keep us safe.”
Schwab was then questioned about the attempted murder of Goodell causing him multiple head and face injuries and breaking his cheekbone.
“He admitted being present,” wrote Det Robillard. “But when ‘Rico’ started beating the victim he stepped out onto a porch. Schwab advised he could hear what was going on but didn’t watch it. Schwab admitted guarding the door on a separate aggravated assault that occurred in the village of St. Johnsbury.”
Schwab has been charged by the Caledonia County State’s Attorney’s Office with misdemeanor narcotics possession and felony charges of aiding in the commission of a felony and accessory after the fact for allegedly renting hotel rooms in his name for Hunter and standing guard while Hunter illegally entered an apartment at 59 Cote Court in St. Johnsbury and assaulted Jonathan Bushey, 23, by striking him in the head with a firearm.
On Monday, Judge Timothy B. Tomasi has ordered an arrest warrant be issued for Schwab with bail set at $50,000.