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Vermont attempted murder suspect captured in Connecticut

Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 11:58 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 3:54 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Police say a man wanted in Vermont for attempted murder was captured after he stole a car in Connecticut.

Matthew Champagne, 19, was arrested Friday in Meriden, Connecticut, after police there say he stole a Mercedes from a gas station.

Meriden police say they came across the stolen vehicle not far from the gas station and Champagne tried to drive off. After stopping the car, police say Champagne tried to flee on foot but was arrested a short time later.

Court documents in Vermont say Champagne went to Connecticut following a shooting back in October at Gardner Park in Newport, Vermont.

According to the affidavit, Champagne planned to meet his brother Joseph at the park to settle something and that it could get physical.

They alleged Champagne got out of a truck and started yelling at his brother, and that he then fired roughly 12 times, leaving in the truck shortly after.

Newport Police Chief Travis Bingham says Champagne fled to Connecticut following the shooting. He says they’ve been working on the case with several law enforcement agencies out of state for months.

“That’s when we just have to make that decision of, hey, look, we might need some help outside of our department to be able to apprehend this person who obviously is a dangerous person and needs to be taken into custody as soon as possible. They do take some time, and if people are on the run from the police or any law enforcement agency they can run for a long time,” Bingham said. “I don’t think it’s uncommon in a case like this for it to go a little longer than we want. I think the end goal here is that he was apprehended and that we had everything in place up to that point to make sure that if somebody did come across him that he would be taken into custody for the charges that he had in Vermont.”

The chief says Champagne is originally from Connecticut but has family ties to Vermont.

Champagne is currently being held in Connecticut on $50,000 bail. He faces several charges including second-degree larceny, reckless driving and engaging police in a pursuit.

He will be extradited back to Vermont to answer to attempted murder charges.

The Orleans County state’s attorney’s office says they’ll have no comment until Champagne is in Vermont. The timeline is not clear at this point.

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