After release on citation, alleged attacker killed himself
By Guy Page
The next-door-neighbor of Vermont Dept. of Labor Commissioner Michael Harrington broke into his Northfield duplex home Tuesday night, threatened him and his family with a knife, and was then subdued by Harrington, according to police and other sources.
Police say David Young, 32, was brought to the Central Vermont Medical Center and released with a citation for burglary and aggravated assault. He then returned home that night to 45 Crescent Avenue and shot himself to death.
The motive for the home invasion is being withheld by police as part of the ongoing investigation. But it wasn’t theft or vandalism, Northfield Police Chief John Helfant said Thursday. Vermont law construes any unwanted home entry with a deadly weapon as burglary and aggravated assault. Young did not have a criminal record, Helfant said, adding that he would leave any discussion of Young’s mental health to his family members.
Helfant would not release the name of the victim or his family. However, public records show that Harrington lives at 45 Crescent Avenue, Northfield, the address of both Young and the victim. Gov. Phil Scott’s office and other sources provided confirmation.
The home is a duplex, Helfant said. Young was apparently staying at the home with the permission of its owner, Helfant said.
According to a Northfield Police Dept. statement, dispatchers at 9:14 pm on Tuesday, July 26 sent officers “to a residence on Crescent Avenue for a reported burglary and assault. Northfield Police arrived and took Young into custody. Subsequent investigation found that Young forced his way into a residence and attempted to attack a family with a knife. Young was then transported to Central Vermont Medical Center. He was released on conditions and flash cited to appear in Vermont Superior Court- Washington Criminal Division on 7/27/2022.”
Helfant said that the homeowner subdued, held down, and sat on Young, without aid of weapon or injury to himself.
Gov. Phil Scott is aware of the incident, Press Secretary Jason Maulucci said yesterday: “Governor Scott has been briefed on this tragic situation and details are still being gathered. He is grateful that Commissioner Harrington and members of his household were unharmed.”
Harrington, appointed Deputy Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Labor by Governor Phil Scott in January of 2017, became Interim Commissioner for the Department on September 3, 2019, and was appointed Commissioner on June 1, 2020.
Prior to joining the Scott Administration, Harrington served as the Economic and Community Development Director for the Town of Bennington. He was born in Bennington, and for a period of time held the role of Director of Client Relations and Training for his family’s Vermont-based international organizational development firm.
The police incident was the second in seven days for a member of Scott’s cabinet. John Quinn, the State of Vermont’s Secretary of Digital Services, was cited for disorderly conduct Wednesday, July 20 on State Street in Montpelier, Montpelier police said yesterday. The other individual in the non-violent parking lot disagreement also was cited for disorderly conduct.