There are weeks when even we feel preoccupied with the news cycle. When it comes to crime, last week seemed unique. And while we can’t go into every incident, suffice it to say that seasoned journalists who keep tabs on crime stories are bewildered by the scale of the rage.
According to our tally, since October 4, Vermont State Police have made a dozen arrests for domestic violence or aggravated assault (many involving deadly weapons). One of the cases was a stabbing, allegedly between family members.
Recently, Colchester Police received a report of an armed crossbow robbery at the intersection of Route 15 and Barnes Avenue. Within minutes, several more crimes were committed and a lawsuit took place involving Ben. J. Webb, of Middlebury, who caused damage to two Colchester police cars, ramming an Essex police car and injuries to two Essex officers. The vehicle Webb was driving was reportedly taken without authorization. Webb also faces several aggravated assault charges, as well as two robbery charges.
And then there was an incident that started in Duxbury.
Soldiers say John Grayson Eckroth, 29, of Granville, recently drove erratically, illegally passing and behind cars, blocking traffic and nearly causing multiple crashes on Route 100.
Police said Eckroth followed Larry Runk 30 miles from Duxbury to Runk’s home in Hancock and drummed past the house several times.
Police said Runk recovered a shotgun and fired a shot, hitting Eckroth’s vehicle and shattering the glass in the passenger’s rear door. No one was hurt. But the two men have been cited.
Runk received a summons for aggravated assault with a lethal and recklessly endangering weapon.
Eckroth was charged with negligent operation, disorderly conduct and providing false information to the police.
You don’t have to read it here to realize that road rage incidents are commonplace. It is disconcerting to see so many assaults at the wheel of a vehicle.
According to the state’s website, âA reduction in incidents of road rage and aggressive driving is an important mission of the Vermont DMV. Avoidable individual driving behaviors and decisions made by aggressive drivers can result in loss of life and potentially fatal injury to our friends, family and children. Our goal is to change these behaviors and outcomes through law enforcement, education and support. “
Law enforcement has worked hard to follow up on road rage incidents and educate the public about the change we are all seeing. âSociety is changing at a faster pace now more than ever. It’s possible that the increased value of time causes us to be much more aggressive on the road, especially during commuting hours, âthe state website says. âSome drivers only see the traffic in front of them as an obstacle to be overcome at all costs. When we combine this with society’s habituation to instant communications, the problem becomes more acute. Whatever the reasons, this attitude can endanger those who share the roadway. “
But here’s an irony.
What dominated the news cycle on Monday morning was an act of vandalism that appears to be linked to Indigenous Peoples Day.
At around 9:30 a.m. on October 11, Bennington Police were dispatched to the Bennington Museum on Main Street with a report of vandalism that had occurred overnight. A large banner had been placed between two lampposts at the entrance to the museum indicating “Land Back”. Additionally, a statue of Abraham Lincoln in the courtyard of the museum had been sprayed with red paint on the statue’s face and hands, and in the center of the statue’s chest was number 38.
According to Bennington Police, the vandalism would refer to Dakota 38, when 38 Dakota men were hanged on the orders of President Abraham Lincoln. The Dakota 38 hangings and convictions resulted from the aftermath of the American Dakota War of 1862 in southwest Minnesota. This incident is still under investigation.
Vandalism is troubling, of course. And the post appears principled and certainly deserved media coverage.
Sometimes we, too, are eager to post the condemnation of such moments at the top of a news page.
But on this day, we remind you that in recent weeks, including Indigenous Peoples Day, there have been significant incidents of domestic violence, rage between strangers and situations where any of the between us could have been injured or killed.
The news requires hindsight. Classes are everywhere.
– The Rutland Herald