Police Defend Arrest Tactics - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Police Defend Arrest Tactics

Waterbury, Vermont - June 19, 2006

Vermont State Police are rejecting accusations they used excessive force to capture a 79-year-old shooting suspect. At issue, is the arrest last week of Lloyd Smith of Morgan, after he allegedly tried to shoot a neighbor with a shotgun. Smith fled to his rented home and refused to come out. After a nine-hour standoff, police fired tear gas into the home and also used a taser to subdue Smith.

The landlord claims the police used excessive force. The police disagree.

"There was information that he may own at least one other firearm. We also could see that there was some type of gun cabinet within the home," said Vt. State Police Lt. Tom Hanlon. "At the end of that event, he was taken into custody with very minor injuries. And all my officers went home safe, so I thought the mission was successful," Hanlon added.

Smith is being held after pleading innocent to attempted first-degree murder. Smith reportedly has a history of mental health problems and neighbors reported he had been acting strangely for at least three weeks before the incident. But police say it appears that no one alerted county mental health officials.

Brian Joyce - Channel 3 News

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