NEWPORT, VT - Philip Brown, 21, of Waterville, VT, pleaded no contest yesterday to a charge of aggravated assault for choking a man until he was unconscious at a party in Eden on Sept. 12, 2009.
The victim, Adam Kaiser, passed out from a headlock and fell, apparently over a wheelbarrow, breaking his leg in two places. Kaiser had to have a steel rod put in his leg and screwed in.
According to Kaiser and a number of other witnesses at the scene, Brown became angry with Kaiser because Kaiser was talking to Brown's girlfriend. Brown pushed Kaiser and the two men faced off for a bit and then backed off. Later, Brown allegedly assaulted Kaiser and grabbed him from behind, choking Kaiser until Kaiser passed out on the ground. Brown then got into his vehicle and left the scene.
Some witnesses who saw the fight said Brown was the aggressor.
Others said their attention was drawn to the fight after it had begun and they couldn't say who had started it.
Friends of Kaiser said he regained consciousness and they took him to Copley Hospital in Morrisville for treatment. They said he was complaining about terrible pain all the way and had difficulty removing his shoe.
Someone at the hospital contacted the Vermont State Police who went to interview Kaiser. Kaiser said the fight occurred in a field in Eden around 1 AM and a friend brought him to the hospital around 1:30 AM.
When police spoke to the woman referred to in statements about the altercation, she initially told police that Kaiser had started the fight and that the two men were pushing, shoving and fighting; that Kaiser fell over a log and that Kaiser was left on the ground. When pressed, she stated that Brown had started the fight, instead.
From September of 2009 until April of 2010, police were unable to locate Brown and serve him with a citation. The Caledonia County Sheriff's Department served Brown with a citation on April 16, 2010, when he was in Caledonia County Court on an unrelated matter.
During their investigation, police also learned that Brown had previously been arrested in Hardwick, VT, for domestic assault against the woman at the Eden party.
Brown was sentenced to 2 to 8 years, suspended, with 60 days to serve, beginning immediately.
The 60 days is to be served on an interrupted sentence of eight hours a day according to a schedule determined by the Department of Corrections. The court also ordered $1,000 in restitution and surcharges.