Fights with fiancé, hospital staff and Hartford police officers land Bellows Falls man eleven charges and a psychiatric evaluation

Incidents spanned two court appearances in two days this week

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - “I can be as sweet as a doll when I want to be,” a Bellows Falls man told a judge Tuesday moments after he menaced a deputy state’s attorney in the courtroom while she was arraigning him on multiple charges for allegedly having fought with several police officers in Hartford the previous afternoon.

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    At the beginning of the week Jude Mischke, 48, a pizza delivery driver from Bellows Falls spent a wild 48-hours in-and-out of police stations, courtrooms, hospital emergency rooms and a jail as he picked up eleven criminal charges, four of them felonies, in two different Vermont counties.

    Court security officers moved in close and surrounded Mischke Tuesday afternoon as he sat handcuffed in his chair at the defense table because he repeatedly and loudly criticized Deputy State’s Attorney Karen Oelschlaeger and then glowered and leaned aggressively toward her after the judge told him to stop interrupting.

    Mischke had been in another courtroom before a different judge just 24 hours beforehand where he’d pleaded innocent to misdemeanor counts of domestic assault, trespassing, aggravated disorderly conduct, disorderly conduct and unlawful mischief.

    Then, just hours after being released from the courthouse in downtown White River Junction on Monday afternoon, Mischke, who according to police was carrying two bottle of wine and a bottle of NyQuil cough syrup with him, allegedly began making a series of threatening phone calls to his mother in Putney from a variety of convenience store pay phones before eventually getting into a melee with four Hartford police officers.

    Carol Keiser wrote in a sworn statement filed with the court that her son had first called asking her to come pick him up and, when she refused, asked for money instead.  When she declined, Keiser wrote that Mischke repeated called her “threatening the same things over and over, also saying he doesn’t care anymore about anything.”

    Mischke was “saying he would come to my house, steal my car, beat me up and burn the house down,” Keiser wrote, adding, “He is bi-polar.  He is in a manic state right now and it has been coming on for a few weeks, getting worse each day.”  She went on to explain that her son had been prescribed several psychiatric mediations at the Brattleboro Retreat and was also a daily participant in the Suboxone anti-opioid program there, something his defense attorney also explained to the judge.

    “He has dealt with depression, addiction and alcoholism for years,” Keiser continued, “He has; however, just celebrated a year of sobriety and was doing really well until this manic episode started.”

    According to police affidavits, Mischke’s troubles this week began during the early hours of Monday morning when he and his fiancé struck a deer with their car while driving back to their apartment on the main square in downtown Bellows Falls.

    Shortly after 1 a.m. neighbors called 911 reporting they could hear a woman screaming and banging on the walls and Bellows Falls police said they arrived to find Mischke’s “clearly intoxicated” fiancé with a swollen face saying that he had struck her a half-dozen times and that she had punched him back in the eye in an effort to make him stop.

    Police said the woman, who said they were planning to get married at the end of this month, refused to complete domestic violence forms and would not let police take pictures of her alleged injuries.

    Mischke volunteered to take a breath test which showed that he did not have any alcohol in his system, police said, adding that he was then transported to Springfield Hospital because he claimed his girlfriend had bitten his thumb and EMTs wanted to have an X-ray taken of his eye socket where he had been hit.

    Springfield police were called to the hospital shortly after 3 a.m. Monday because staff said that Mischke had become enraged and had thrown his bedside table at medical personnel there.

    “When he was advised by hospital staff that he would be provided with non-narcotic pain medication, which he refused, he became extremely agitated,” Springfield Police Officer Coriander Santagate wrote in an affidavit filed with the court, adding, “Mischke began yelling and throwing things around his room causing a scene.”

    After additional hospital personnel tried to intervene, “Mischke reportedly refused to leave and continued to yell and scream,” before ripping the name tag off a physician’s assistant’s shirt and then allegedly threatening to go after family members of the hospital staff, with one of the witnesses writing in his statement to police “(Mischke) said he was going to (use Facebook to) find where I live and kill my whole family.”

    Mischke was still “grabbing, pushing and attempting to hit staff,” according to a witnesses statement, as he was backed out through the ambulance bay doors into the darkened parking lot where police arrived and took him into custody.

    Springfield Police Officer Coriander Santagate wrote that once Mischke arrived at the police station and a decision was made to transfer him to the Springfield jail for the remainder of the night, Mischke allegedly “continually showed aggression towards officers and had to be lifted into the cruiser.”

    Springfield Police Officer Daniel Deslauriers wrote that while he was driving Mischke to the jail “Mischke continued to threaten myself and my family members with bodily harm as well as finding my residence and burning it down.”

    Deslaurier said that once he arrived at the correctional facility, “While I was standing outside the cruiser Mischke was lunging around and spitting at the center partition.”  There was a sudden “loud bang” and when Mischke was finally allowed out of the backseat, Officer Deslaurier said he watched as Mischke threw the rear-seat cruiser video camera  which he had apparently kicked out of its housing into a nearby trash can.

    Mischke sat calmly through his arraignment later on Monday afternoon in front of Judge Timothy Tomasi who released him from the courthouse in downtown White River Junction on a series of pre-trial conditions.

    However, a couple of hours later he’d walked up the hill towards the VA Hospital and allegedly begun making the series of threatening calls to his mother who in turn called state police.

    Since the last call had come from a donut shop across the street from the hospital, state troopers asked for assistance from the Hartford Police Department.

    Hartford Sgt. Jason Pedro said he spotted Mischke a couple of minutes later attempting to hitchhike at the intersection of Route 5 and the VA Cutoff Road.  

    “I attempted to speak with Mischke from my cruiser but he told me to ‘Get out of here!,” Pedro wrote in an affidavit.  “I turned my cruiser around and followed him for approximately a hundred yards then activated my blue lights,” before getting out of the cruiser and telling Mischke to stop.

    Sgt. Pedro said he told Mischke “numerous times” to takes his hands out of his pockets but Mischke allegedly refused to comply, stating “Arrest me (expletive)!” and then “See you later dude” as Pedro opened up his extendable police baton.

     “I grabbed him and slid my baton between his right arm and torso to remove his hand from his pocket,” Pedro recounted.  “He spun and attempted to strike me with his left fist and assumed a boxer’s stance with raised fists (so) I struck him in the left thigh with my expandable baton.”

    “He again aggressed toward me and I again struck him in the thigh with my baton,” Pedro wrote.

    “(Mischke) stated ‘Want me to punch you in the face (expletive)?’ and continued to walk toward me with clenched fists (so) I yelled for him to get back and then sprayed him with (pepper spray) directly in the face,” Pedro wrote.

    As other officers began arriving on the scene to back up the sergeant he was able to get Mischke on the ground and handcuffed at which point he said Mischke looked up at him and allegedly stated “You’re dead (expletive).”

    Police took the handcuffs off at the Hartford police station in the holding cell area in order to allow Mischke to wash his eyes out from the spray but, Pedro wrote, “While washing his face in the sink, (Mischke) abruptly stood up, assumed a fighting stance and charged at Sgt. Connie Kelley.  She ran out and closed the door as he attempted to force it open.”

    Several officers ran to help and Pedro said that when he opened the cell door Mischke spit in another officer’s face and then threw one of his shoes at that officer’s head but the officer blocked it with his forearm.  Police said that after spitting in the officer’s face Mischke exclaimed “I’ve got Hepatitis C.”

    Police forced Mischke down onto a bench and removed his remaining shoe and were trying to back out of the cell when, Pedro wrote, “Mischke charged me, grabbed my baton, attempted to pull it from my grasp and then punched me in the left shoulder.”

    Three other officers moved in to assist Pedro, pinning Mischke against a wall at which point, Pedro said “I punched Mischke in the head several times in an attempt to stun him long enough for his hands to be controlled,” Pedro wrote, concluding “We were finally able to restrain him with handcuffs and leg shackles.”

    Since Mischke was bleeding from a laceration to his forehead, police decided to forego their usual booking process and, after Hartford firefighters checked over Mischke’s injury, he was once again was driven in the back of a police cruiser to be checked out further, this time to Mount Ascutney Hospital in Windsor.

    Pedro said Mischke allegedly made threats to find and harm his family members and then, on the ride down to the hospital, reportedly threatened to rape members of another officer’s family and burn his house down.

    After being medically cleared from the hospital and spending the night in jail again, Mischke appeared before Judge Beth Mann on Tuesday afternoon in the Windsor County Courthouse in downtown White River Junction.

    With the help of public defender Robert Lees, Mischke entered innocent pleas to disturbing the peace by phone, resisting arrest and multiple felony counts of simple assault on a law enforcement officer and attempting to impede a public officer.

    Judge Mann ordered Mischke held for lack of $10,000 bail and she also ordered him to undergo an in-patient psychiatric exam.

    “There’s obviously a lot going right now for you to have accumulated this many charges in the last two days,” Judge Beth Mann noted from the bench at which point MIschke interjected, “Every one of them will be thrown out.  I’m taking every one of them to trial.”

    “And that’s your right,” Judge Mann responded before Mischke cut her off and continued, “Yep, it’ll be on the news and when all is said and done I’m going to cost the state of Vermont a lot of money and I’ll walk out a free man.”

    Picking the thread back up, the judge continued “I’m going to encourage you to participate in the evaluation.”

    “Of course I will,” Mischke replied in a much softer tone of voice, “I can be as sweet as a doll when I want to be.”

    The previous afternoon, at his first arraignment, Mischke’s public defender, attorney Audrey Smith, told the court that Mischke’s prescribed medications had just recently been adjusted and she suggested that some of his alleged behavior might have been a result of that.

    Smith also noted that Mischke is a participant in the Suboxone program at the Brattleboro Retreat, has been attending AA meeting twice a week and “has some severe mental health issues.”

    On Tuesday Mischke insisted during his appearance before Judge Mann, “There isn’t a substance abuse issue.” 

    A life-long southern Vermont resident, Mischke attended the Putney School and has a bachelors in Communications from Castleton State College. 

    His extensive multi-state criminal record dates back to 1991 and includes a conviction last year for assaulting emergency personnel with bodily fluids in Rutland County, a crime for which he received a suspended 2-to-4 month sentence.  

    Mischke has also served time in Vermont and Massachusetts for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, possession of stolen property, trespassing, unlawful mischief, retail theft and assault on a law enforcement officer.

    Mischke faces a theoretical maximum potential penalty of over 34 years in prison if he were to be convicted of all of the charges currently pending against him.

Vermont News can be contacted at

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