Woman accused of pulling gun over social distancing sign

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WALDEN, Vt. (WCAX) A lawyer from the Northeast Kingdom found herself in the defendant's chair after police say she pointed a gun at a store employee over social distancing. Our Ike Bendavid has the story.

To open up shop during the coronavirus, Butch's Harvest'ore in Walden made a large sign to promote social distancing. It urges customers coming in for an ice cream cone to stay safe.

"It's been working very well," store owner Hazel Greaves said.

Until this past Sunday when, according to a police affidavit, customer Carrie Legus, 58, of Walden, started complaining about the sign and tried to knock it down.

"The lady walked up and was pulling at the sign and shaking at the sign," Greaves said.

Greaves was not there when it happened but she said her employee was alone and asked Legus to stop. What Legus allegedly did next shocked Greaves and her employee.

"So then she pulled out her gun and pointed it at her," Greaves said.

Legus then left the scene and was later taken into custody by police.

Monday, Legus pleaded not guilty to reckless endangerment, telling police she was at the store, but she denied having a gun. Legus was back in court representing herself for a hearing on a mental health clinical assessment.

Shortly after court started, the defendant requested the judge close off the courtroom when the proceedings of the mental health evaluation were talked about.

"I am requesting that WCAX be asked to leave the courtroom," Legus said in court.

Judge Michael Harris agreed and WCAX News was forced to leave the courtroom, so we don't know how the judge ruled.

"Thank god no one was hurt. It could have been a tragic situation," Greaves said.

Back in Walden, Hazel Greaves says she'll keep doing business and helping her customers and employees stay safe.

As for that court hearing, WCAX News does not believe we should have been ordered out of the courtroom for what is normally a proceeding that is fully open to the public. We have registered a complaint with the state's chief superior judge.