WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A quadriplegic teenager was set upon by a pack of dogs which were known to be aggressive as he lay unattended in his specialized bed in the living room of his family home last fall, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Windsor Police Department.
Aaron Simoneau Sr., 39, of Windsor pleaded innocent this week to a misdemeanor charge of neglect of a vulnerable adult before he was released from the courthouse on a lone pre-trial condition which read “You shall not care for a vulnerable adult or have one residing in your house,” while the case is pending.
Windsor Police Detective Mark Baker wrote in an affidavit filed with the court that Simoneau’s four dogs, which include two Rottweilers and a Pit Bull, had already been accused of biting residents downtown during incidents that took place in July and September of last year when an ambulance was called to his residence near Bridge Street on October 15th.
Three police officers responded along with the emergency medical technicians and noticed “numerous scratch marks and two puncture wounds” on the legs and body of 19-year-old Aaron Simoneau Jr. who the detective wrote has been in a “persistent vegetative state” since he returned to the family’s home after being released from the hospital nearly a year after he was hit by a train.
Drawn by a desire to investigate rumors of ghosts and other supernatural activity, Simoneau Jr. was severely injured in November 2015 when he and a friend ventured out in broad daylight onto the railroad trestle over the White River in West Hartford where thirty some people were killed in the fiery wreck of the Montreal Express train back in 1887.
With nowhere to run on the long and narrow trestle high above the shallow section of river, the pair were struck by the southbound Amtrak Vermonter passenger train which was barreling toward White River Junction, as it does every morning at that hour.
While his friend was thrown into the river and drowned, Simoneau managed to stay atop the trestle but suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him in a non-verbal quadriplegic state.
Detective Baker said that Simoneau Sr. told police that he had “stepped out” on the evening of October 15th, leaving a young teenager in the home with the responsibility to take care his disabled son and the family dogs.
“All four dogs have access to the room where Aaron Jr. lays immobile in his bed,” the detective wrote, adding that ambulance crews described the house at the time as having been “unkempt, with large amounts of dog feces and dog urine on the floors” with “fresh cigarette burns" on the teen’s bed sheets.
Later that evening, doctors at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center compiled a “body map” of the teen’s injuries in which they said documented over 100 abrasions and a dog bite, noting that the dogs had also chewed off the gastrostomy tube used to feed nutrition directly to the teen’s stomach.
Simoneau Sr. faces a maximum potential penalty of up to 18 months in jail if he were to be convicted of the charge now pending against him.
Rescuers head out into the White River on November 27, 2015 after two teenage boys were struck while trespassing on the train trestle
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