There were some tense
moments at Susan Monfette's home day care on Union Street in Newport Wednesday
shoots in and your heart beats a little faster," Monfette said.
Police swarmed BAART Behavioral
Health Services just before 11 a.m., after receiving a call that a man armed
with a handgun had entered the clinic and demanded methadone. The facility
provides substance abuse treatment.
"The clerk explained
that they don't keep the drugs on the premises. Apparently he was under the
impression that they did. So there was no methadone there to give him,"
Newport Police Chief Seth DiSanto said.
Police tracked the suspect
toward the downtown, where a K-9 lost the trail.
"Our intuition at
this point is he got into a vehicle and left. Whether it was a vehicle operated
by him or someone assisting-- we aren't sure at this point," DiSanto said.
During the manhunt, North
Country Hospital and North Country Union High School and Elementary School were
put into lockdown as a precautionary measure.
Reporter Matt Henson: What
did they tell you?
Brad St. Onge/North
Country Union student: We are in a lockdown situation. Stay in your classroom
and stay out of the halls.
The suspect is described
as a white man, 5'4"-5'6" tall. He was wearing a dark winter jacket, blue jeans, tan boots, black gloves and a black winter hat with a black face covering.
Residents hope he is
"My doors will stay
locked for the meantime," Monfette said.
Anyone who may have seen a
man matching this description around BAART Behavioral Health Services around 11
a.m. is asked to call Newport Police at 802-334-6733.
I asked the chief if the suspect was a
client at the drug treatment center. The receptionist said she couldn't get a
good look at his face because of his disguise, so that question remains
Police say due to the extreme cold,
the robber did not look out of place with his multiple layers and that has
proved to be a challenge as police talked to witnesses hoping they had seen the
Police also ask that parents and residents who get word of a lockdown in the future do not call or respond to the incident location or to the police department. They say they will release information as soon as they can, and calls inundate police and make it more difficult for them to relay information.
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