A former trooper with the Vermont State Police, Zachary Gauthier, 31, of Weathersfield, was cited Tuesday morning, April 19, on suspicion of animal cruelty and perjury, state police say.
Gauthier was a state trooper when the offense allegedly occurred. He resigned last week.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, in December 2021, Gauthier punched his family’s dog and broke a knuckle on his hand in doing so. While under oath during a Feb. 24, court hearing in an unrelated proceeding involving a relief-from-abuse order being sought against him, Gauthier subsequently lied about how he suffered the injury to his hand. Investigators also determined he lied while under oath about the presence of alcohol in a vehicle that he was operating that crashed on Oct. 30, 2021.
Additionally, the Springfield Police Department on Tuesday cited Gauthier on a charge of violating an abuse prevention order.
Following consultation by the Vermont State Police with the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office, Gauthier was cited to appear at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in White River Junction. This case was handled by a detective sergeant assigned to headquarters and in conjunction with the Washington County State’s Attorney’s Office to ensure investigators were from outside the area where Gauthier was assigned.
Gauthier had been assigned as a detective trooper at the Westminster Barracks. He was placed on paid relief from duty earlier this year, and resigned last week.
The Vermont State Police is unable to comment further on the case. The affidavit of probable cause will be filed with the court and made public following Gauthier’s arraignment. Members of the media should call the Court Clerk’s Office prior to arraignment to confirm details of the hearing.