Man pleads not guilty to knifepoint robbery in Burlington

Published: Aug. 21, 2023 at 6:30 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2023 at 8:16 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A Burlington man arrested for assault and robbery over the weekend pleaded not guilty in court on Monday.

Ezra Dillon, 32, is accused of assaulting and robbing a man at knifepoint steps away from Burlington’s Church Street.

“I was a little surprised that something like that would happen here. It just feels so peaceful and that didn’t feel right,” said Doc Roback of Tucson.

Police say it happened around 11 a.m. Saturday near Bank and Pine streets.

Court records describe the owner of a Burlington cannabis dispensary as the victim, targeted as they left a bank downtown.

“Safety is definitely a top concern for the business community downtown,” said Colin Hilliard, the deputy director of the Burlington Business Association.

Hilliard says they are doing what they can to make businesses and employees feel safe.

“There’s only so much businesses can take on themselves,” Hilliard said.

Police were able to recover the $88 taken from the dispensary owner, but attacks on the business community are what employees and owners fear the most.

“I think in the past couple of years it’s definitely gotten a lot worse. Obviously, we see the news stories, we see what’s going on. I mean it’s affecting businesses around here,” said Josie Bersford of Burlington.

Berford says Monelle Vermont employees are cautious all day, but especially at night.

“We usually do it with two people because one is just unsafe,” Berford said.

It has her questioning the safety of her workplace.

“You come to work and you’re like, ‘Is it going to be the day that the business I work in is affected?’” Berford said.

Dillon continues to be held until a responsible adult is identified so he can be released. He’s expected back in court later this week.

Related Story:

Burlington police arrest man for knifepoint robbery