A Vermont man is accused of running over a Newport police officer with a stolen ATV and then driving the off-road vehicle into a river where it sank to the bottom.
Larry A. Garrow Jr, 34, of Richford, pleaded not guilty in Orleans Superior Court on Tuesday to six criminal charges and was ordered held on $100,000 bail by Judge Howard E. VanBenthuysen.
“He has a long history of failing to appear,” said the judge. “He’s been a convicted felon in state and federal court, he has 23 misdemeanor convictions, he’s violated conditions of release four times and he was on probation at the time of these offenses.”
Orleans Superior Court
Garrow is charged with felony aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and aggravated operation of a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent. He’s also charged with misdemeanor careless or negligent operation of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, violating conditions of release and unlawful mischief.
Garrow has also been charged by the Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office as a habitual offender which means he is facing a possible sentence of up to life in prison.
Newport Police say they received a report at 2:14 a.m. on Tuesday of a car towing a “Side by Side” ATV down Pleasant Extension in Newport City.
Minutes later, Ofc. Jonathan Morin located two ATVs and two suspects on Airport Road at a pull-off near the Black River Bridge in Coventry.
“I exited my vehicle and ordered the later identified Garrow to show me his hands while I drew my service pistol,” wrote Ofc. Morin in his report. “I turned to the other male and ordered the same, however, he turned away from me and began walking towards the water…At that same time, Garrow ran towards one of the Side by Sides and got into the driver’s seat.”
Police say Ofc. Morin pursued Garrow to the ATV and grabbed him as he sat in the machine
“At that time, Garrow rapidly accelerated the Side by Side, driving over my foot and knocking me backwards while launching the Side by Side into the river underneath the bridge,” wrote Ofc. Morin. “The Side by Side immediately sank to the bottom of the river while Garrow escaped and tried to swim to the other side of the bridge.”
Ofc. Morin pursued Garrow and found him swimming in the river and ordered him out of the water but Garrow again refused and swam behind some brush, according to the report.
Newport Police Ofc. Colin Sykes then arrived on the scene and located Garrow partially submerged in the water by the bridge and took him into custody.
“He initially did not comply with my commands,” wrote Ofc. Sykes in his report. “He attempted to swim to the other side of the bridge and then attempted to hide by crawling up onto the concrete supports. He was eventually taken into custody without further incident.”
Prosecutors say Garrow is under state supervision by the St. Albans Probation and Parole Office and has pending charges stemming from criminal cases in Franklin County including felony unlawful mischief, operation without the owners’ consent, burglary and leaving the scene of an accident. Garrow is also a person of interest in numerous ATV thefts in Orleans and Franklin County, said police.
“While Garrow was in custody, Derby Vermont State Police, St. Albans Vermont State Police, Orleans County Sheriffs, and Franklin County Sheriffs offices all contacted the Newport Police Department requesting to question Garrow for a multitude of thefts where Gerrow has pending charges or is the person of interest in the thefts,” wrote Ofc. Sykes.
Police say Ofc. Morin was not seriously injured in the incident and the ATVs were both stolen from 843 Pleasant Street in Newport City.
The second suspect who fled the scene was later located by Newport Police on Pleasant Street at about 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday and is identified as Kenneth Cameron, 35, of Richford. Cameron pleaded not guilty to a charge of grand larceny and was ordered held on $7,500 bail.
Both suspects are now in pre-trial detention at Northern State Correctional Facility in Newport.