Threatens to kill family at state campground

Leon Forrest, 56, of Leicester was following and threatening a family in the Moosalamoo campground in Salisbury Monday morning at 1 am, state police say. Forrest threatened to kill Leslie Karzmarczyk, 56 and Robert Karzmarczyk, 55 of Port Henry, NY, as well as two juveniles. Forrest then operated a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner while following the four victims. When Forrest lost sight of the victims, he searched several campsites, waking the other campers in an attempt to locate them. 

While speaking with Forrest, Troopers detected indicators of impairment. Forrest refused to be screened, was placed under arrest and transported to the New Haven Barracks for processing. At the conclusion of processing, Forrest was Lodged at the Marble Valley Correctional Facility with a citation to appear at Addison County Superior Court, Criminal Division at a later date. No injuries resulted from this incident.

Fatal crash – a Tunbridge man died May 28 after a 9 am two-vehicle crash on VT Rte. 14 in Williamstown. A northbound vehicle, driven by David Welch, 37, crossed into the southbound lane and collided with a southbound vehicle, driven by Michael Merrill, 72, of Williamstown Welch was pronounced deceased at the scene. Merrill was transported to Central Vermont Medical Center for non-life threatening injuries.

Burglary at bank, assault on police officer – Stephanie Foster, 30, was arrested and charged with attempted burglary, unlawful mischief, assault on a law enforcement officer, and resisting arrest. On Saturday, May 28, at approximately 8:20 a.m., police reported that a deposit box at the Community National Bank on Main Street in Newport had been vandalized.

Newport police say a review of security camera footage from the previous night showed an individual later identified as Foster attempting to access the bank’s front door by force, as well as an ATM machine in the bank’s lobby, and a deposit box. Police say at one point she pulled a metal casing around the deposit drawer away from the wall. Investigators found blood and fingerprints on the metal casing of the deposit drawer. 

On Saturday police went to Foster’s home to speak with her about the incident. When police attempted to take her into custody, she forcibly resisted and kicked an officer in the chest during the struggle. The officer was not injured.

Police say Foster was on probation at the time of her arrest, so she was turned over to the custody of Newport Probation and Parole and held at the Northern State Correctional Facility.

Car with five teens strikes boulder off road in Killington – Five teenagers narrowly avoided tragedy the night of May 28 when the Jeep Liberty they were traveling in left the road and struck a boulder. The juvenile driver failed to maintain the lane of travel and completely left the roadway, striking a boulder before coming to a position of uncontrolled rest. Two passengers were transported to Rutland Regional Medical Center for minor injuries.

Shaka Africa, 31, of Northfield was sentenced last week by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford to 32 months of imprisonment and a 3-year term of supervised release for possessing a firearm in 2020 after having been previously convicted of a felony offense.

Police say Africa was involved in a shooting incident on August 27, 2020, in Morristown. Africa had just arrived in his vehicle at a residence on Elmore Road when a Jeep that had been following him aggressively pulled into the driveway behind him. Africa, without knowing who was in the Jeep, drew a handgun and fired a round at the Jeep. The bullet struck the Jeep in the left rear wheel well. 

The occupants of the Jeep immediately departed and reported the incident to police.  Police later located Africa and seized a 9-millimeter pistol from him. Africa was determined to be a felon, having been convicted in 2016 of aggravated assault with a weapon in Washington County.

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