BENNINGTON >> A Hardwood Hill man is accused of threatening a Green Mountain Power worker with a handgun by firing the weapon.
Robert C. Webster, 33, of Harwood Hill Road, pleaded not guilty Friday in Vermont Superior Court to felony count of aggravated assault — threaten with a deadly weapon, and a misdemeanor count of false information to police. He was ordered held without bail. While he was arraigned in Rutland, his case will be processed in the Bennington criminal unit.
According to an affidavit by Bennington Police Officer David Faden, on Thursday at 3:27 p.m. a Green Mountain Power worker came to the Bennington Police Station to report that Webster had threatened him by firing a gun.
The worker said he went to a home on Harwood Hill Road to serve the resident there with a 48-hour disconnection notice. A large man with a beard came to the door, later identified as Webster. He said Webster became irate, went back inside briefly, then returned to the door with a silver handgun, concealing it somewhat behind his leg.
Webster told the worker to get off his property. The worker started to leave, then heard the gun go off. Webster was still yelling and swearing at him. The worker said he thought he had been shot in the back and feared for his life.
The worker told police he drove to the bottom of Hardwood Hill where he took notes and called his supervisor. He said he saw Webster come down his driveway and look down the road. When the worker drove by the property to get a license plate number off a vehicle there, he saw Webster looking into the vehicle's interior.
According to the worker, he has been to the property at least twice before to shut the power off and was yelled at by Webster on one occasion.
Police went to Webster's house to speak with him. He said he argued with the Green Mountain Power worker, but never fired his gun, which he said remained in its holster on his hip. He told police where to find it inside the house.
Faden wrote that when he found the gun, he could not see any silver on it until he removed it from the holster. He doubled checked with the worker, who insisted he saw the silver part of the gun.
Webster told police that is the only handgun he owns. He said the argument began when the worker raised his voice, prompting Webster to raise his and ultimately slam the door in the worker's face. He said after the worker was gone, we he went into the driveway, then to where his wife works. She then called the power company.
Faden wrote that the gun is a 40 caliber Smith & Wesson semi-automatic. The magazine holds 14 rounds and was loaded with 13, while there was one in the chamber. He said the barrel was dirty from having been fired at some point, and that Webster said it was because he had gone shooting a few days before.
Police said they were unable to locate a spent round.