Vermont Fire Chief Pleads Not Guilty to Car Damage

July 12, 2012

A Vermont fire chief has pleaded not guilty to charges that he damaged a man’s car by throwing a flashlight on it at a fire scene.

Joseph Hayes, chief of the Bennington Rural Fire Department, was charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and unlawful mischief.

The Bennington Banner reports Hayes saw a vehicle speeding toward him and he shined his flashlight at the car to make it slow down or stop. Hayes said it did not stop, so he threw the flashlight in front of the vehicle.

The driver, Frederick Grant, said rain and another vehicle’s headlights limited his visibility. He first noticed Hayes when he heard something hit his car and heard Hayes yelling.

Hayes directed requests for comment to his attorney, who did not return calls.

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