Gunman tries to rob Newport methadone clinic - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Gunman tries to rob Newport methadone clinic

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Courtesy: Newport Daily Express Courtesy: Newport Daily Express
Courtesy: Newport Daily Express Courtesy: Newport Daily Express
Courtesy: Newport Daily Express Courtesy: Newport Daily Express
Courtesy: Newport Daily Express Courtesy: Newport Daily Express
Courtesy: Newport Daily Express Courtesy: Newport Daily Express
NEWPORT, Vt. -

There were some tense moments at Susan Monfette's home day care on Union Street in Newport Wednesday morning.

"Your adrenaline 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 caught soon.

"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 unanswered.

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 gunman.

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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