Attorney General orders State Police to cite two state troopers over ‘bean bag’ incident

Conviction carries prison sentence of up to a year

by Guy Page

Vermont Attorney General Charity Clark’s office has directed the Vermont State Police to cite two of their own for simple assault and reckless endangerment following a 2022 non-lethal beanbag shooting of a disturbed man, the VSP said Monday.

In July 2022, the Vermont State Police completed its investigation into the June 17 use-of-force incident that resulted in significant injuries to Marshall Dean in Newfane. VSP treated the matter as an officer-involved shooting. Per standard protocol in such cases, state police turned over the full investigative file to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office for review.

The Attorney General’s Office has concluded its review and Monday directed the Vermont State Police to cite Sgt. Ryan Wood and Trooper Zachary Trocki of the Westminster Barracks on charges of misdemeanor simple assault and misdemeanor reckless endangerment. The Attorney General’s Office determined the use of force was not justified given the circumstances of the incident.

Trocki and Wood are scheduled to appear for arraignment at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 30, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Brattleboro.

Following routine procedure when a use of force is under review by prosecutors, Trocki and Wood have been on paid administrative duty at the barracks since the incident. They have now been suspended, and will be off payroll following arraignment.

Sgt. Wood was hired as a trooper in 2012 and upon graduation from the Vermont Police Academy was assigned to the Rockingham Barracks. In 2016 he was assigned to VSP’s Narcotics Investigation Unit, and the following year was promoted to sergeant and transferred to the Westminster Barracks.

Trooper Trocki was hired in fall 2021 and assigned to the Westminster Barracks following his graduation from the academy in spring 2022. He is the trooper who deployed the bean-bag round in the course of this incident.

Wood and Trocki were the only troopers on scene at the time of the incident.

O’Neil, reached by phone, said the VTA leadership along with veteran defense lawyers David Sleigh on behalf of Wood and Robert Sussman on behalf of Trocki are “outraged” by the decision by Attorney General Charity Clark.

Clark has ordered state police to issue citations to Wood and Trocki for reckless endangerment and simple assault, O’Neil said.

Vermont Troopers Association Executive Director Michael O’Neil said last week there is a strong objection to what he called “the criminalization of a split-second public safety decision” by Clark’s office. He said the issue should be dealt with internally through policies and procedures, Mike Donoghue of Vermont News First reported.

Under Vermont law, a person is guilty of simple assault if he or she:

(1) attempts to cause or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causes bodily injury to another; or

(2) negligently causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon; or

(3) attempts by physical menace to put another in fear of imminent serious bodily injury.

State law says reckless endangerment occurs when “a person who recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury….Recklessness and danger shall be presumed where a person knowingly points a firearm at or in the direction of another, whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded, and whether or not the firearm actually was loaded.”

A person who is convicted of either simple assault or reckless endangerment shall be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than $1,000.00, or both, unless the offense is committed in a fight or scuffle entered into by mutual consent, in which case a person convicted of simple assault shall be imprisoned not more than 60 days or fined not more than $500.00, or both.

It is unclear whether conviction of misdemeanor simple assault or reckless endangerment conducted in the line of duty would qualify for decertification as a Vermont police officer. State law lists as a “Class A” decertification offense “a misdemeanor that is committed while on duty and did not involve the legitimate performance of duty.”

Decertified police officers are no longer eligible to work as police in Vermont.

Categories: Crime

16 replies »

  1. Thus is total bs. It going to cause the police to constantly second guess themselves or to do thing to protect their job. She should be removed d from office. She is acting like another Soros bought attorney

    • A majority of Vermonters voted for this marxist and I still see the bumper stickers for the proud supporters of “Charity” out there. Is the Vermont Police Academy now working on correcting stern gazes from their recruits as well? Vermont is suffering from a serious self-hating malaise and state of mental disorder. She makes TJ look like Mussolini.

  2. Not that I agree (or disagree at this point) with the AG bringing this case forward, but the facts haven’t been released. At least not on Vermont daily (and I have significant distrust of most of the other media in Vermont). This is why I advocated for body cam footage.

    On NBC5 ( say:
    “After they tried unsuccessfully to deescalate the situation, a trooper then fired a beanbag-type projectile at Dean, which struck him and caused him to slip and fall about 15 feet to the ground.”

    “Which struck him and caused him to slip and fall”

    If that is the case, it does stand to reason that if you shot a bean bag at somebody who was up on a roof that they may fall down off of the roof and thereby would be recklessly causing bodily injury.

    Since it seems that no one’s life was in danger on top of the roof, and I didn’t read about the man causing bodily harm to the other person that was on the property, that makes this significantly less necessary.

    So the question remains, was he reckless in using a bean bag to shoot somebody on the roof? There are a lot of situational nuances to the answer of that question.

    And yes I still believe this to be a political stunt. And no, it’s not what Vermont’s police need right now.

  3. Cite the police for doing their job – ‘at a girl! What she is doing is continuing on her & her left’s quest to “Defund the Police”!!!! Again, ‘at a girl, “Charity”! Show ’em who is in control….which shall NEVER be you once Communism takes hold.


  4. Political stunt indeed. When political alligence and partisanship takes control over the judicial system, the healthcare system, the education system, private enterprises, government agencies, NGO’s and non-profits, there is no denying we are living in a failed State – the corruption is deeply embedded like a tick burrowed into a dog’s hide. Many people selling their souls for a buck. Disgraceful and morally bankrupt.

  5. Apparently Clark is trying to outdoor NYC DA Bragg in making the bad guys the winners and those trying to maintain civil norms the bad guys.

    • She, like so many of our other left wing nutcases in public “service” fantasize about their day in the sun, being interviewed on the steps of the statehouse by a crew from CNN or MSNBC. Cheap virtue signaling by these clowns is bankrupting our once-great State of Vermont. These “public servants” service Vermont taxpayers like a bull services a cow.

  6. I agree with two points made. First, this is no doubt a political stunt, but if you didn’t expect this from Ms Clark, you haven’t been paying attention. Second, the trooper(s) used, let’s agree, questionable judgement. Should they have been tarred and feathered for it? No. I would think a 6-week suspension without pay would have been more appropriate.

    That said, I’ve been a long-time advocate for a minimum age of 30 to become a law enforcement officer. Why? More life experience. More interactions with people of all kinds. Which all leads to, as I said above, better judgement.

    • why not wait until 75 and get someone with a real lot of experience? The answer is being more cautious about their track record and a little less concern about their physical strength. In a shooting, the police get the benefit over the criminal the first 5 encounters. Maybe use 22 cal. instead of 9mm.

  7. Absolutely ridiculous that the use of non-lethal force would result in criminal charges.

    I suspect once the details come out about this case, the officers will be acquitted, though their reputations will remain permanently tarnished and they will forever remain in fear of losing their jobs.

    That, of course, is the plan. Another win for the Soros-funded Marxist takeover of the US penal system.

    • The damage has been done. Regardless of outcome of this particular case, ms. clark’s lily-white liberal-elitist politics have now placed all Vermont Law Enforcement on notice- You will be criminally charged if I disagree with you.
      Heck of a recruitment and retention policy, but that’s politics in Vermont, now.
      Congratulations to ms. elitist clark. You’ll have your 15 minutes of fame, please your donor masters- and forever reduce the rule of law in Vermont to your dystopian ideals.

  8. Time to support our law enforcement against frivolous charges. There is a go-fund-me for these troopers who are on unpaid leave. https://go

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