ST. ALBANS — The Messenger previously reported that the St. Albans Police Dept. arrested 27-year-old Danny L. Bouchard Jr. after a struggle. Now the case’s court affidavits describe the struggle, including multiple failed attempts to tase Bouchard and injuries the arresting officer sustained.
Prosecutors charged Bouchard with violating court-ordered release conditions, resisting arrest, impeding a public officer and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer preventing the exercise of the officer’s lawful duty.
The latter is the most serious charge, a felony with a maximum penalty of six years.
SAPD Officer Mark Schwartz wrote in his affidavit that he was driving on Lake Road, near Church Road, around 11:06 p.m. on Dec. 30 when he spotted Bouchard’s vehicle. Schwartz wrote he stopped the vehicle after he saw it cross the fog line three times and the center line once.
The vehicle stopped on Jewel Street. Schwartz said the driver, whom he’d soon identify as Bouchard, initially put down the rear window instead of his driver’s side window.
“In speaking with Bouchard, he appeared dazed [and] confused,” Schwartz wrote. “He was also slurring his words.”
Schwartz wrote he asked for Bouchard’s license and that Bouchard showed him his registration and proof of insurance instead. Then, when Bouchard opened the vehicle’s center console in searching for documentation, Schwartz wrote he saw a bottle of fireball whiskey and a piece of torn choreboy, steel or bronze wool inserted in the end of a crack pipe for use as a filter.
Schwartz wrote he returned to his cruiser and discovered Bouchard had a court-ordered condition of release confining him to a 24-hour curfew in Swanton.
Schwartz returned to Bouchard’s vehicle and gave him a warning for his traffic violations, according to the affidavit. Schwartz wrote he also “expressed my concerns about the choreboy inside the vehicle,” although Bouchard denied alcohol or drug use.
According to the affidavit, Bouchard initially gave verbal consent for Schwartz to search his vehicle, but shortly thereafter revoked it before Schwartz even began searching.
Schwartz wrote he then told Bouchard he’d violated his conditional release, and told him to put his hands behind his back, an order with which Bouchard initially complied. But then he tensed up, Schwartz wrote, and started pulling his arms away.
Schwartz told Bouchard he’d be tased if he resisted. Bouchard continued to resist, per the affidavit, and Schwartz grabbed his taser. Bouchard grabbed his hand to stop him from drawing it.
Schwartz wrote he then released his grip on Bouchard, and Bouchard took off across a nearby front yard. So Schwartz fired the taser, but the probes caught in Bouchard’s sweatshirt, preventing any effect on him.
Schwartz fired the taser again, with the same result — none, stuck in Bouchard’s clothing.
Schwartz wrote he chased Bouchard to a fenced-in backyard until Bouchard’s attempt to jump the fence slowed him down. Schwartz grabbed hold of him, brought it to the ground, and attempted to “drive-stun” Bouchard, in which a taser shocks an individual through direct contact rather than by firing projectile cartridges.
But Bouchard grabbed the taser again. Schwartz wrote he pulled it from Bouchard’s grip but then it fell in the snow. Still, he wrote he was able to hold Bouchard down until fellow SAPD Officer Kaylie Cadorette arrived.
Cadorette fired her own taser, according to the affidavit — and that, too, got stuck in his sweatshirt.
Schwartz wrote he and Cadorette ultimately subdued Bouchard when he stopped struggling.
By that point, Schwartz wrote he sustained injuries to his face, neck, shoulder and knee, including several small cuts to the nose and chin, a sprained right knee and right shoulder and broken blood vessels on the side of his neck.
Schwartz wrote the cops took Bouchard to the SAPD, where a Burlington police officer evaluated Bouchard for drug influence and determined he was under the influence.
Schwartz wrote in the affidavit that he’s a nationally certified Drug Recognition Expert himself, but “felt it best that a neutral party conduct this evaluation based on the previous events.”