Woodstock teen released from courthouse on Friday
HARTFORD, VT - In an affidavit filed with the court, Hartford Police alleged that the Woodstock teenager who ended up sending two of their officers to the hospital with concussions after a scuffle broke out late Thursday night when they moved to arrest him had been smoking a mixture of marijuana laced with LSD before he was pulled over on Route 4.
Mason Thompson, 19, a freshman and a member of the soccer team at Castleton State College, pleaded innocent Friday to four misdemeanor charges: resisting arrest, possession of LSD, and two counts of simple assault before he was released from the courthouse in downtown White River Junction on pre-trial conditions.
Thompson was alone in his silver Subaru Forester when he was clocked going 63 mph in a 45 mph zone on Route 4 in Quechee near the intersection of Center of Town Road, the affidavit recounted.
Approaching the car to speak to Thompson after he pulled him over, Officer Clifford reported that he smelled a strong odor of fresh marijuana coming from the vehicle and, after Thompson allegedly admitted to having just smoked marijuana and to still having a small amount with him, Hartford Officer Fred Peyton and Sgt. Connie Kelley arrived to assist with a consent search over the vehicle that Thompson had granted, the affidavit continued.
Police found a small baggie that appeared to contain marijuana along with two partially burnt joints, some stem and seed pieces, and "a gold plastic egg" containing folded sections of tinfoil that later allegedly turned out to contain three blotter acid papers treated with LSD, police reported.
Thompson initially cooperated with field exercises to test his sobriety and, after doing poorly on them, was told he was under arrest and to turn around and place his hands behind his back so he could be placed in handcuffs, police recounted.
It was at that point that Thompson allegedly began to "pull away" from Officer Clifford and all three officers moved to take control of him. First, Sgt. Kelley was struck in her right temple, sending her eyeglasses flying, and then Thompson allegedly made an attempt to run away while Clifford and Kelley kept hold of him and Peyton "took him to the ground."
The police accounts described Officer Peyton and Thompson falling on top of Officer Clifford who struck the back of his head hard on the pavement. Peyton ended up with a similar injury to his head a few moments later as the struggle continued.
The three officers wrestled Thompson into the handcuffs "but not before a semi-conscious Officer Clifford went unconscious," Hartford Police Chief Phillip Kasten explained in a prepared statement on Friday.
Officers Clifford and Peyton both ended up being treated for concussions and abrasions at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center before they were each released around 3 a.m. Friday morning and sent home to recuperate.
The court paperwork charging Thompson included a note to prosecutors stating that "it should be noted that, as of this writing, due to the head injuries sustained by Officer Clifford he has lost his short-term memory of the majority of this incident."
Thompson sustained minor abrasions to his face during his arrest and, after he was processed at the Hartford Police Station, he was transported to Mount Ascutney Hospital where a sample of his blood was drawn as part of the evidentiary process, police said.
Thompson, who has no previous criminal record, faces a maximum potential penalty of up to 7 years in prison if he were to be convicted of all the charges now pending against him.
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