A mental health client of Northeast Kingdom Human Services (NKHS) was arrested over the weekend in Burke after he tried to force the driver of a farm tractor to give him a ride to Newport.
Brian Hawkins, 44, is now charged in Caledonia Superior Court with misdemeanor simple assault and disorderly conduct. Hawkins was scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Monday but was sent for an in-patient mental health evaluation instead. If convicted of both charges Hawkins faces a possible sentence of over one year in prison and a $1,500 fine.
Caledonia Superior Court
According to court documents, Hawkins lives under 24-hour supervision at an NKHS facility located at 696 Burke Green Road in Burke.
Vermont State Police were called to the area twice on Sunday evening for reports that Hawkins was out of control despite being under constant supervision by at least two staff members including NKHS employee Cole Hosford, 18.
“Hosford advised me Hawkins was in the vehicle with them on Burke Green Road and he jumped out of the vehicle he was in because he wanted to go to Newport,” wrote VSP Tpr. David Garces in his affidavit filed in support of the charges. “Hosford said that Hawkins climbed a farm tractor on this road and struck the operator of the tractor when the operator refused to give him a ride to Newport.”
The driver of the farm tractor left the area before police arrived, according to the report.
Hosford also told police that he was assaulted by Hawkins after he tried to stop him from jumping in front of another vehicle “full of family members,” wrote Tpr. Garces. “Hosford said that Hawkins slapped him in the head when he attempted to stop him.”
Police said they also responded earlier in the day for a similar incident involving Hawkins.
“In this incident Hawkins stopped a vehicle on the road and opened the drivers’ side back door and got in the vehicle because he wanted to go to Newport,” wrote Tpr. Garces. “The passenger in this vehicle tried to pull Hawkins out of the the vehicle and Hawkins became assaultive with him.”
Hawkins eventually got out of the vehicle before police arrived.
After taking Hawkins into custody, state police consulted with NKHS officials about how to proceed next.
“I spoke to NKHS caseworker Carol Simmons and she advised she had no protocol or plan for him other than bringing him back to the NKHS house,” wrote Tpr. Garces. “I spoke to NKHS crisis workers and they advised they could not hold him either and referred us back to Carol Simmons. NKHS was in agreement that holding Hawkins in jail would be the best option for him as they could not physically control him.”
Police then took Hawkins back to the state police barracks in St. Johnsbury.
“Hawkins advised me that he did not want to go home and he will continue to participate in these acts until he moves to Newport,” wrote Tpr. Garces.