Police Reports

State troopers on leave after bean-bag shooting

The two state troopers involved in the bean-bag shooting of a Newfane man who wouldn’t come down from a roof early Friday morning have been identified as Sgt. Ryan Wood and Trooper Zachary Trocki, both assigned to the Westminster Barracks. They are now on paid leave, pending investigation.

The situation began in the early morning hours of June 17 when a homeowner called state police to report that a guest in his home was acting irrationally and causing damage to the home. 

When troopers responded, they found Marshall Dean, 61, of Newfane on the roof of the house. Attempts to de-escalate the situation were unsuccessful, and ultimately one trooper fired a bean-bag-type impact projectile, which struck Dean. Soon after being struck, the man slipped and fell about 15 feet to the ground. 

He was transported by ambulance to Brattleboro Memorial Hospital and subsequently transferred to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, for treatment of significant injuries.

Wood and Trocki have been placed on paid relief-from-duty status, per regular procedures following a critical incident. Dean is recovering in the hospital. 

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. 

To avoid potential or perceived conflicts of interest, the case is being investigated by the Major Crime Unit along with detectives assigned to field stations from outside the area where the incident occurred.

When the Vermont State Police investigation is complete, the case will be turned over per standard protocol to the Vermont Attorney General’s Office and the State’s Attorney’s Office for independent reviews of the use of force. The Windham County State’s Attorney’s Office has recused itself from the matter and referred the review to the Orleans County State’s Attorney’s Office.

According to Officer.com, bean-bag or ‘sock’ rounds are fired from shotguns as a non-lethal alternative to traditional rounds:

“With so many controversial shooting deaths involving law enforcement personnel, a growing number of law enforcement agencies and departments are looking for ways to eliminate fatal encounters between officers and citizens. Police officers often find themselves in dangerous and difficult situations and they must be able to protect themselves. Some are arming themselves with bean bag shotguns. The rounds fired from these guns can take down an assailant but usually don’t result in a fatality.

“A bean bag round is a small fabric pillow that is filled with No. 9 lead shot that weighs about 1.4 ounces. It is usually fired from a 12-gauge shotgun and expelled about 250 to 300 feet per second. It spreads out in flight and distributes its impact over one square inch of the target. The bean bag round is designed to deliver a blow that will cause minimum long-term trauma and no penetration to the body. It will result in a muscle spasm to stop a potentially violent suspect. Recent innovations have meant a change from a square shape to a rounded sock-shaped projectile.”

Categories: Police Reports

4 replies »

  1. Sounds like the troopers did the right thing! What were they suppose to do? Held back on using a gun or Taser, using the least dangerous item, good for them! Remember Schumlin established a mental hospital to serve 25, yes I said 25 people which could be filled in most towns! Leave the troopers alone!