NEWPORT CITY – Judge Robert Bent held 30-year-old Adam Verge on $10,000 bail, Friday. Verge faces felony aggregated assault charges on a law enforcement officer and burglary of an occupied dwelling. He also faces misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and unlawful mischief. Verge entered not guilty pleas on all charges.
Verge, his attorney Gertrude Miller, and Essex County State’s Attorney Vince Illuzzi appeared in Orleans County Court Friday. Judge Robert Bent, who was out of town, heard the case on speakerphone.
The case could not be heard on Thursday because Verge was allegedly still under the influence of alcohol.
Illuzzi asked for $5,000 bail, but Attorney Miller asked for an unsecured bond and for Verge to be released to a responsible adult. Miller argued that Verge has had a hard time over the past few years. Both his parents died within a year or so of each other and he is having relationship problems. However, Bent, who was concerned about a flight risk, increased Verge’s bail to $10,000.
“The resisting arrest suggests Mr. Verge didn’t want to wait to face the criminal justice system as a result of the alleged incidents,” Illuzzi said outside the courthouse Friday. “That justified imposing cash bail.”
The Vermont Constitution prefers that individuals suspected of crimes be released prior to conviction, said Illuzzi. He also said the state takes assaults against police “very seriously.”
Several troopers showing support for Debra Munson, the trooper involved in the incident that put Verge in jail, sat in back of the courtroom during Friday’s arraignment.
On March 22, Verge allegedly went to his estranged wife's house and banged on the door. When she wouldn't let him in, he broke the door down and started breaking things. He also punched holes in the walls and doors, she told police.
Verge told Trooper Munson, who had responded to the scene, that he was visiting friends, not his wife. Munson said Verge was compliant while she spoke to the woman involved.
But when Munson attempted to put Verge in handcuffs, Verge ran and Munson pursued him.
What follows is a summary of Munson's description of her pursuit of Verge:
The trooper chased Verge, grabbed him by the waist and tackled him to the ground. He managed to escape and took off running again. Munson felt compelled to use a taser to bring him down. After he went down, Munson yelled at him to get on his stomach, but he refused, and she tased him again.
Verge then got up and ran again.
Again, Munson caught up to Verge, tackled him by the waist, and brought him to the ground. And again, he got up and ran off.
When Munson finally caught up to Verge, he at first appeared as if he was going to comply with her orders to get on the ground, but instead he pushed her away. The trooper forced him to the ground, but he got the upper hand and, according to Munson, Verge put a choke hold on her until she couldn't breathe and was in pain.
Munson was able to break the hold and flip Verge onto his back, but Verge returned the favor and flipped Munson onto her back. She flipped him again, and this time he got up and ran - again.
Once more, Munson attempted to tackle Verge and bring him to the ground, and once more he escaped.
The trooper finally caught up with Munson at the Sunrise Manor. At this point, she reported, he appeared tired and weak and was having trouble standing. Verge finally laid on the ground where Munson kept him in check until another police officer arrived.
Sgt. Sean Selby told the press that Munson is now doing fine.