Burlington police: Mental health needs of offenders must be better addressed

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 4:46 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - After a vandalism spree that Burlington police believe is tied to one man, the city’s acting chief says the mental health needs of offenders must be better addressed.

Michael Bizuneh, 32, is accused of smashing the windshields of multiple police cruisers last week.

Investigators say he may be responsible for damaging as many as 30 other cars in the city this past weekend.

Following his arrest, police say Bizuhen spit in an officer’s eye, leading to further charges.

Acting Police Chief Jon Murad says Bizuneh is currently behind bars but he says the system as it currently is does not benefit anyone.

“Our system has to come up with a way to be able to handle someone like this in a way that is fair for him, gets him the treatment he needs, but also ensures our residents are not inconvenienced or have their property destroyed, and more importantly my officers are not assaulted,” Murad said.

Murad says if you believe you were a victim of the vandalism, contact the Burlington police.

Related Story:

Man charged with smashing 6 Burlington police cruiser windshields

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