Press Releases

Want to receive our press releases in your email?

Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

CONTACT: Sgt. Chris Norton
802-365-4942
cnorton@windhamcountyvt.gov

Windham County, VT — The Windham County Highway Safety Task Force consisting of officers from the Windham County Sheriff's Office, Bellows Falls Police Department, Brattleboro Police Department and Dover Police Department will join law enforcement agencies nationwide April 8-12, 2021, to remind drivers about the dangers and consequences of texting and distracted driving. This annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement effort.

According to NHTSA, between 2012 and 2019, 26,004 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. While fatalities from motor-vehicle crashes decreased slightly from 2018, distraction-related fatalities increased by 10%. NHTSA also reported that the number of deaths linked to driver distraction was 3,142 nationwide, or almost 9% of all fatalities in 2019. This represents a 10% increase over the year 2018, or 284 more fatalities. The distraction figure was the largest increase in causes of traffic deaths reported for 2019.

Millennials and Gen Z are the most distracted drivers, often using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. According to NHTSA research from 2017, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007. In 2019, 9% of people killed in teen (15-19) driving crashes died when the teen drivers were distracted at the time of the crash.

“We aren’t out here for the fun of it,” said Windham County Highway Safety Task Force Coordinator, Sgt. Chris Norton. “Texting, messaging, and other forms of distracted driving are increasing habits that put everyone at risk, even those of us in law enforcement. We want drivers to focus on the most important task: hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”

Violating Vermont’s distracted-driving laws can be costly:

-Adult Use of a Portable Electronic Device carries a minimum penalty of $162 & 2 points on your license for normal violations to a maximum penalty of $507 & 5 points on your license for work/school zone violations.

-Junior Use of a Portable Electronic Device carries a minimum penalty of $220 & 2 points on your license for normal violations to a maximum penalty of $507 & 5 points on your license for work/school zone violations.

-Texting While Driving carries a minimum penalty of $220 & 5 points on license to a maximum penalty of $479/5 points on license for repeat offenders.

The Windham County Highway Safety Task Force members and NHTSA urge drivers to put their phones away when behind the wheel. If you need to text, pull over and do not drive while doing so. If you are the driver, follow these steps for a safe driving experience:

-If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.

-Ask your passenger to be your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.

-Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.

-Cell phone use is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.

Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. No text or post is worth ruining someone’s day — or taking a life. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/distracted-driving.

You can also follow the Windham County Highway Safety Task Force on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WindhamCountyHSTF.



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Man arrested on a warrant

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE03/12/2021 2:29 PM

Incident: 21WHC000773
Date: 3/12/2021
Location: 11 Jail Street, Newfane
Investigating Deputy: Capt. Paul Samataro

Accused: Kwesi Wilson
Age: 36
City & State of Residence: Londonderry, VT

Description: Kwesi Wilson, 36, of Londonderry was arrested by the Windham County Sheriff's Office on arrest warrants for burglary, unlawful mischief, driving with a suspended license, violations of conditions of release and possession of methamphetamine. He was transported to the Southern State Correctional Facility.



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Windham County Sheriff's Advisory established

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE01/29/2021 7:49 PM

Windham County Sheriff Mark Anderson has established the Windham County Sheriff’s Advisory, comprised of a group of county residents who will advise him on community needs, interests, and concerns as they relate to the operations in Vermont. While the Advisory has no statutory or oversight responsibility, it was established by Sheriff Anderson, who is committed to the community’s input regarding policing and services provided by the Windham County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Advisory meets the second Monday of each month at noon, currently via ZOOM. Citizens are encouraged to contact the Advisory if there are problems, questions, or other concerns, which need to be addressed by the group. Citizens can also access the meetings to express their concerns. The Advisory is now reviewing the department’s Fair and Impartial Policing Policy to ensure that it addresses the needs, values and concerns of Windham County.

Sheriff Anderson is a life-long resident of Brattleboro and a 2004 graduate of Brattleboro Union High School. He began his career with the Windham County Sheriff’s Office. He earned a degree in Business Administration from the Isenberg School of Management at University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is a member of the Vermont Criminal Justice Council, which serves to guide training, policy, and oversight for all of Vermont law enforcement. In July 2019, he was appointed Sheriff of Windham County by Governor Scott.

Members of the Advisory include the following:

Dr. Cliff L. Wood, Chair, a resident of Westminster since 2017, is a retired college administrator/president. He is a volunteer for the Brattleboro Area Hospice, for Loaves and Fishes, an Incorporator for Kurn Hattin Homes and School, a member of the Windham County NAACP, and a volunteer coordinator for a prison ministry at the Southern State Correctional Facility on behalf of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.

Lamont Barnett is Windham County Assistant Judge and a Commissioner with the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. He is also a former Select Board Chair of the Town of Rockingham and a veteran of the US Navy. He was born in Bellows Falls.

Chris Day is an Assistant Principal at Brattleboro Union High School and a lifelong resident of Brattleboro.

Steffen Gillom is a doctoral student in psychology at Antioch University and is President of the Windham County NAACP. He serves on numerous boards statewide and in Windham County. He resides in Brattleboro.

John Hagen, the High Bailiff of Windham County, is a retired Air Force Officer. He lives in Guilford and is a Professor at Park University, where he designs adult education programs.

Wendy Harrison is currently the Interim Town Administrator for the Town of Vernon and most recently was Interim Executive Director of the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA). A resident of Brattleboro since 2015, she also serves on the Vermont Transportation Board, the Board of Directors of the Southeast Vermont Transit, and the Board of the Brattleboro Outing Club.

Jeff Lewis, photographer, is retired from a career spanning business consulting, circus management, economic development and state policy leadership. He has lived in Brattleboro for 19 years.

Dr. Etan Nasreddin-Longo, orchestral composer, is Co-Director of Fair and Impartial Policing and Community Affairs for the Vermont State Police. A long-time social justice advocate, he is also Chair of the Racial Discrepancies in Criminal Justice Advisory Panel.

Knowles Wentworth is a Police Liaison and Crisis Clinician with HCRS. A resident of Brattleboro since 2007, he came to Vermont to study Conflict Transformation and Peace at the School for International Training (SIT).

The Advisory would like to increase the number of women on the Advisory and add a high school or college student. Persons interested in joining the group are encouraged to contact Advisory Chair Cliff L. Wood at
wcsa-chair (at) windhamcountyvt.gov or Sheriff Mark Anderson at sheriff (at) windhamcountyvt.gov

Documents regarding the advisory are available on the department's website here.



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Condemnation of Insurrection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE01/21/2021 12:51 PM

The Windham County Sheriff’s Office condemns the January 6th, 2021 insurrection that occurred in Washington D.C. and the attempt of a violent overthrow of our democracy and the United States Constitution.



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Committment to safety for all

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE01/15/2021 4:40 PM

The Windham County Sheriff’s Office is committed to protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States and the State of Vermont. This includes protecting the rights of every person, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, sex, national origin, immigration status, or religion.

In light of the events that occurred on January 6th, 2021 in Washington D.C., we expect any person or group wishing to exercise their First Amendment right of free speech to do so peacefully and within the boundaries of the law. As we approach Inauguration Day, we discourage armed demonstrations. The Windham County Sheriff’s Office is committed to defending our institutions and our democracy. We are not aware of any specific threats within Windham County, but stand ready to respond and manage issues if they arise.



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Woman arrested in Londonderry for Excessive Speed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE01/13/2021 3:25 PM

Incident: 20WHC000091
Date: 01/09/2021
Location: VT 100 S in Londonderry
Investigating Deputy: Sgt. Norton #166

Accused: Withheld
Age: 18
City & State of Residence: Hudson, NY

Charges: Excessive Speed

Description: On 01/09/21 the Windham County Sheriff's Office arrested a youthful offender after observing the vehicle she was operating traveling 71 mph in the posted 40 mph speed zone on VT Route 100 S in Londonderry. They were released on a citation to appear in the Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division and a Civil Violation Complaint for the civil speeding violation.

Court Date: 02/23/21
Bail: N/A



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Man arrested on multiple charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE01/12/2021 1:28 PM

Incident: 21WHC000060
Date: January 7, 2021
Location: Westminster West Rd, Westminster
Investigating Deputy:Det. Sgt. Jessica Fellows

Accused: Thomas Williams
Age: 27
City & State of Residence: Westminster, VT

Charges: Domestic Assault, Criminal Threatening, Resisting Arrest, Unlawful Mischief

Description: On January 7th, Deputies were dispatched to the Peoples Bank on Main St in Putney for the report of a male subject who was behaving in a threatening manner and had used a firearm to break the window out of an occupied vehicle. The male then fled the scene and was soon after located at his residence on Westminster West Rd. The male suspect was identified as Thomas Williams. Williams then assaulted a family member and was immediately taken into custody. During the arrest, Williams resisted causing injury to a deputy. The deputy was treated for his injury at BMH and released. Williams was lodged at Southern State Correctional Facility for lack of $10,000 bail and will be arraigned 1/8/21.

Court Date: 1/8/2021
Bail: $10,000



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Woman arrested for Excessive Speed

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE01/02/2021 3:37 PM

Incident: 20WHC004302
Date: 12/29/2020
Location: Chester Rd in Grafton
Investigating Deputy: Sgt. Norton

Accused: Ashley J Beauchesne
Age: 26

Charges: Excessive Speed

Description: Ashley Beauchesne was arrested by the Windham County Sheriff's Office after the vehicle she was operating was observed traveling 61 mph in the posted 30 mph zone on Chester Rd in Grafton. She was released with a citation to appear in the Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division at a later date and a VCVC for the civil speeding violation.

Court Date: 02/16/2021
Bail: N/A



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Incident: 20WHC004203
Date: 12/21/20
Location: Westminster Station, Westminster
Investigating Deputy: Deputy Jalava

Accused: Ashley Cloutier
Age: 29
City & State of Residence: Westminster, VT

Charges: Driving While Suspended, Violation of Conditions of Release

Description: Windham County Sheriff's Office arrested Ashley Cloutier following a 911 call reporting erratic driving. Deputy Jalava observed the vehicle and identified the driver as Ashley Cloutier. Dep. Jalava knew Cloutier's license to be suspended from previous law enforcement interactions. Cloutier was released with a citation to appear at Windham Superior Court Criminal Division at a later time. A licensed driver took control of the vehicle.



###


Windham County Sheriff's Office
PO Box 266, Newfane, VT 05345

Man arrested in Dover for DUI

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE12/23/2020 1:59 PM

Incident: 20WHC004187
Date: 12/18/20
Location: RT100 Dover
Investigating Deputy: Deputy Jalava

Accused: Wesley Sniadecki
Age: 24
City & State of Residence: Prospect, CT

Charges:DUI, suspended license, unregistered vehicle, uninsured vehicle, uninspected vehicle

Description: At approximately 2030 hours, Wesley Sniadecki was arrested by the Windham County Sheriff's Office after he was observed operating a black Cheverolet with a defective equipment on RT100 in Dover. During the stop Dep. Jalava noticed signs of impairment. Sniadecki was placed under arrest. Sniadecki was taken to the Wilmington Police Department and evaluated by a Drug Recognition Expert. Sniadecki was processed and released to a sober party with a citation to appear at Windham Superior Court, Criminal Division at a later date.



###