Released by judge after punching hospital staff, man attacks off-duty cop, police say

Brandon Clough (at left in top center of surveillance video photo) advances on an off-duty Burlington cop.

Burlington police were told by a judge to release a St. Johnsbury man who they say had just assaulted hospital workers. When they did, the man attacked an off-duty police officer, police say.

In response, Police Chief Jon Murad said the incident highlights the need for more holding facilities for mentally unstable suspects. The details were provided in this Burlington Police Dept. press statement issued Tuesday afternoon:

On Monday, November 6 at 7:12 PM officers were dispatched to the University of Vermont Medical Center for a report of an assault. Dispatch informed officers that a male patient in the Emergency Department assaulted a staff member and staff were actively restraining him. 

When officers arrived on scene, they learned the male was Brandon Clough, 42, of Saint  Johnsbury. The previous night, on Sunday, November 5, at about 9:30 PM, officers had  responded to a call from a resident on King Street who reported that he had returned to his  apartment to find his door’s chain lock had been set from the inside. 

An unknown, uninvited person was inside his apartment. That person refused to open the door and then told the resident  he was going to take a shower and did so. Police responded and entered the unit and took a naked man, identified as Clough, into custody. Clough made statements that he had unlawfully  entered the apartment via a fire escape and window. Officers charged him with felony trespass  and later took him to UVMMC. 

On Monday night, officers responding to the assault at the hospital learned that Clough had  just been medically cleared. While awaiting additional, non-medical services, he assaulted a Clinical Patient Safety Attendant by punching the CPSA in the face without warning. 

Police took Clough into custody for “Assault of protected professional” without incident, and transported him to the Burlington Police Department for processing. A normal part of arrest  processing involves officers contacting the court for instructions about whether an arrestee will  be held or not, and a judge instructed police to release Clough from the police station on conditions. 

Clough was escorted outside of the police station, while officers retrieved his property in  order to return it to him from the November 5 incident. An off-duty officer, who had finished his shift and was out of uniform, was walking to his car. Clough aggressively approached the  off-duty officer in the parking lot and attempted to assault him, including by throwing punches.  The off-duty officer was able to take Clough to the ground and detain him, and then called  dispatch requesting assistance from off-duty officers. 

Clough was taken into custody for the third time and transported to the Northwest State  Correctional Facility. He was ordered held on $200 bail. 

“If we want proof that certain things are not working, this case presents it,” said Chief of Police  Jon Murad. “Our partners at the hospital recently gained national attention for the increase in  violence that they’ve suffered, and here we have a man who broke into someone’s home, who  assaulted hospital staff, who clearly cannot make good decisions and is a danger to himself and  the community. And yet he was released on conditions and within minutes assaulted a police  officer. Jail may not be the right place for someone who harms others but whose behavior may  be driven, in part, by mental-health issues. But until we create more capacity for desperately needed custodial care, it’s the place we have. Our neighbors—people in their homes, hospital  workers, police officers—they all deserve to be safe.” 

See video footage of the incident. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Burlington Police  Department at (802) 658-2704. – Release provided by BPD

Categories: Burlington, Crime

10 replies »

  1. These are the people that lived at the Vt. State Hospital for years and years until the government finally closed it after hurricane Irene. It was all remodeled for offices but could not be fixed to return to the hospital. Every state closed their hospitals and look at how the homeless population grew. And the crime also.

    • I totally agree with you Susan. I have been saying for a long time that there is a great need for more mental patient beds, and esp. in penitentiaries. Wake up people.

    • The baby was thrown out with the bath water late 60’s 70’s .. 1200 population at that time … were there inappropriate procedures done? Yes, were thy recognized as so at the time? No
      Solution was release almost all … went to 54 beds and still social yayaya c/o everything done there.. funding gone, on taxpayers…. And then the flood…

  2. Judges do their thang from behind a solid, elevated bench and have armed security around. Health care staff are required to work face to face with the most disturbed and agitated individuals whenever they request care, regardless of their prior, recent criminal actions. Maybe if the judges were forced to work in a more exposed and intimate proximity to those they make the excuses for, they would better understand what it is like to work in an emergency room. The criminal justice system in Vermont is beyond pathetic, and inexplicably a majority of us consistently vote to keep it that way. Liberalism is a mental disorder.

    • All making decisions ought to have opportunity to experience this craziness in ear’s and other situations, only then can a rational deduction be made… oh and do it on a full moon cycle!!!

  3. Anyone with a little common sense and experience would know that there are people loose out there that need to be constantly monitored and administered to. Or they will, not necessarily intentionally, cause an unnecessary disruption to the usually smooth running daily activities. For the protection of them, and society, they need to be removed to a safe place and possibly engaged in a useful and productive activity.

  4. Another Sarah George dummy! Dear God people, your choices for these positions are killing us. Research!! Get educated now!!