Bellows Falls man admits escape attempts
BRATTLEBORO -- A Bellows Falls man was sentenced to serve a year behind bars for twice trying to escape from police over a three-day period in early July.
One of those incidents included Andrew Reynolds, 22, running south on Interstate 91 in leg irons and handcuffs after shattering the window of a Windham County Sheriff's Department cruiser.
Reynolds pleaded guilty to that escape and to resisting arrest by the Brattleboro Police Department a few days earlier. He also admitted to violating an abuse-prevention order in June.
Reynolds' overall sentence, handed down last week in Windham Superior Court Criminal Division, is 12 months to 12 months and one day to serve in prison.
His recent legal troubles began June 7 in the parking lot of a Brattleboro McDonald's restaurant, where police said Reynolds approached a woman and refused to leave.
That was a violation of an abuse-prevention order that had been issued in New Hampshire, court documents say.
At the time, police requested an arrest warrant for Reynolds, who was listed as homeless. Later court documents list his address as Rockingham Road in Bellows Falls.
On July 3 on Route 30, Brattleboro police stopped a Jeep Grand Cherokee in which Reynolds was a passenger. Investigators say he gave police a fake name and refused to comply with demands that he show his hands.
During a subsequent struggle, Reynolds crawled backwards over a center console, exited the Jeep and tried to jump over a guardrail, court documents said.
Reynolds was cited for resisting arrest and appeared in court in Brattleboro two days later. But he ended up accumulating additional charges in connection with an incident that occurred as sheriff's department Cpl. Dana Shepard was driving Reynolds back to Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.
On I-91 northbound in Westminster, Shepard "observed the defendant slide onto his back in the right rear seat and bring both of his feet up and strike the window with both feet, shattering the window," court documents say.
Shepard pulled over as he watched Reynolds push himself halfway out the broken window and then open the cruiser's door. In a court affidavit, Shepard wrote that he "observed the defendant attempting to run south in leg irons and handcuffs attached to a belly chain in the slow-speed lane."
Shepard gave chase and struggled with Reynolds in the median as a state trooper and a sergeant from the sheriff's department arrived to assist.
Reynolds told the sergeant that he had kicked out the cruiser window because he was hot and Shepard would not roll down the window. He also claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome and attention deficit disorder and had not been able to take medication while in jail.
Reynolds entered guilty pleas to a felony count of unlawful mischief and a misdemeanor escape charge in connection with the I-91 incident.
He pleaded guilty to resisting arrest in connection with the July 3 incident on Route 30 and to violating an abuse-prevention order in connection with the June 7 incident at McDonald's. Both of those charges are misdemeanors.
Reynolds' court file also includes a restitution order for $500 payable to the Vermont Department of State's Attorneys and Sheriffs for damaging the cruiser. But the document notes that Reynolds "has no ability to pay at this time."
Mike Faher can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 275.
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