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Pion arrested after wrecking cruisers with tractor in Newport

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This is one of the cruisers that was smashed on Thursday in Newport, by a man on a tractor. Photo by Richard Creaser

by Richard Creaser

copyright the Chronicle, August 2, 2012

Roger Pion, 34, of Newport was arrested by the Newport City Police Department Thursday, August 2, for his alleged role in a rampage that damaged a transport van and six cruisers belonging to the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department.  A Newport City cruiser was also damaged during Mr. Pion’s arrest.

Chief Deputy Phil Brooks said that while a motive was not immediately clear, Mr. Pion has had numerous encounters with law enforcement.  The Orleans County Sheriff’s Department in particular has handled primarily motor vehicle violations related to the suspect.

Though the damage was extensive it did appear to be confined to marked department vehicles, Chief Deputy Brooks said.  “If it had a sheriff’s plate on it, it was gone,” Chief Deputy Brooks said.  “There were plenty of personal vehicles in the lot but it looks like he deliberately targeted anything directly related to law enforcement.”

The sheriff’s department is down six cruisers and a transport van following the rampage at the Sheriff’s Department headquarters on the Derby Road in Newport.  Chief Deputy Brooks reported that Mr. Pion was arrested — shortly after departing the scene — by the Newport City Police Department.  The incident occurred at about 12:30 p.m.

No injuries were reported to civilians, law enforcement officials or Mr. Pion.

The incident is being investigated by the State Police.  While the tractor used during the rampage could have caused serious damage to the building and other property on site, the attack appeared aimed solely at clearly identifiable symbols of law enforcement, Chief Deputy Brooks said.

“There’s nothing in the handbook that covers a tractor driving over your entire fleet,” he said.  “The important thing is that nobody was hurt and we can always buy new cruisers.”

contact Richard Creaser at [email protected]

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