Vt police cruisers crushed - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt police cruisers crushed

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Roger Pion Roger Pion
Courtesy: Newport Daily Express/Demian Warner Courtesy: Newport Daily Express/Demian Warner

Rene Morris was at work at DelaBruere Auto Sales Thursday when he heard some unusual sounds coming from next door at the Orleans County Sheriff's Department.

"I felt like I was in a monster jam rally or something," said Rene Morris, who witnessed the crash.

But police say that monster jam rally was actually 34-year-old Roger Pion of Newport driving over and crushing seven police vehicles with a massive tractor.

"I just couldn't believe it, just backing up going over it, turns around makes his way to the other vehicles smashes those up," said Morris.

Morris and a group of shocked spectators called 9-1-1, telling dispatch to check the backyard.

"We came out and sure enough someone had run over our cruisers with a tractor," said Chief Deputy Philip Brooks, Orleans County Sheriff's Department.

The Sheriff's Department secretary saw the tractor go by before the rampage, but didn't think twice about it.

"I mean it is vermont. No, nobody saw it happen," said Brooks.

After the demo-derby happened in Derby -- Pion was arrested a mile and a half away in Newport by other officers. Sheriff's Deputies couldn't chase him, because they had no cars on site. Pion's been in trouble with the law before. He was arrested this past month by the Newport City police. There's speculation -- the car crushing was revenge.

"He just did his business and headed right down Route 5," said Morris.

It's not clear where he got the tractor. But he comes from a farm family.

Police say Pion took out more than half of the sheriff department's fleet -- some of its newest vehicles were only four months old. Damages could be as much as $300,000.

"We have other counties who are offering cruisers. we've already had one county drop one off and two others are on the way," said Brooks

Pion is facing a slew of charges including gross negligent operation -- leaving the scene of an accident. Pion is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday.

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