RUTLAND — An Ira man who allegedly fought with police and called on Vermont State Police troopers to shoot him during a domestic dispute Monday afternoon was ordered held in jail Tuesday on $75,000 bail.
Police were called to the home on Route 133 in Ira just before 4 p.m. for a reported argument between a man and a woman.
But when police arrived, Trooper Aron McNeil said, they found a truck blocking their way to the property and a handgun lying on the seat of the vehicle.
No one was in the truck, but moments later Nathan J. Butler, the owner of the truck and the camper that sits on the property, emerged from his home yelling at the troopers to “shoot me,” according to an affidavit written by McNeil.
The two troopers at the scene drew their sidearms and pointed them at Butler, who had his hands in his sweatshirt and refused to take them out.
The potentially lethal incident ended peacefully, McNeil said, when Butler complied with the troopers’ orders and police spoke with him and a woman at the scene.
The troopers left with the handgun they found in the truck.
But about two hours later, police were called to the address again when the woman who had been involved in the earlier dispute with Butler called to report that Butler had choked her and was trying to break down the camper’s door with a sledge hammer after she locked him out.
The woman told police she was inside the camper with a shotgun and would shoot Butler if he broke inside.
Butler was outside when police returned, McNeil said, but this time he wouldn’t comply with orders to move away from the camper so the troopers could check on the welfare of the woman and her child.
When commands to Butler failed, McNeil said he attempted to grab the 20-year-old man’s arm to restrain him, but Butler allegedly pulled away and tried to throw punches at both McNeil and Trooper Jason Johnson.
Johnson wrote in his own affidavit that he blocked the strike and then delivered a punch of his own to Butler’s face. At the same time, McNeil said, he deployed his Taser on Butler, delivering an electric jolt and bringing him to the ground.
McNeil said attempts to handcuff Butler on the ground were resisted, so he again used the Taser to deliver a “drive stun,” which is a setting on the device designed to gain compliance through painful shocks.
After being shocked a second time, Butler stopped resisting efforts to handcuff him, McNeil said.
As police were handcuffing Butler, the woman emerged from the camper with the shotgun — prompting the troopers to order her at gunpoint to drop the weapon.
She put the firearm down as ordered and later told police that she took the gun outside because she had heard screaming and feared that Butler was hurting the troopers.
In Rutland criminal court Tuesday, Butler pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of aggravated domestic assault in the first degree and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and violating his court-ordered conditions of release on a pending charge of aggravated assault with a weapon.
Butler’s court-appointed attorney didn’t argue against the prosecution’s request for $75,000 bail.
During his argument for high bail, Deputy State’s Attorney Kevin Klamm said the violent domestic incident wasn’t the first of its kind for Butler, who has a prior conviction for firing a gun at a car being driven by an estranged ex-girlfriend.
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