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Jury Rejects Claim of Excessive Force in Case Against Vermont State Trooper

CONTACT: Mark Patane, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-1101

September 28, 2010

After a week-long civil trial in Vermont Superior Court, Chittenden Unit, a unanimous jury found yesterday that Corporal Kevin Scott of the Vermont State Police did not use excessive force in arresting the plaintiff, Rodney Mayo. According to evidence presented at trial, in August 2002, Mr. Mayo drove the wrong way on I-89 for more than 13 miles between Exits 16 and 18 at speeds of up to 75 mph, causing numerous accidents and endangering motorists and the police officers who attempted to stop him.

The jury found that Corporal Scott’s actions were reasonable when he broke the driver’s side window of the locked vehicle and used a wrist lock/arm bar technique to remove Mr. Mayo through the window, after officer presence and verbal commands from police failed to get Mr. Mayo to surrender or to unlock and exit his vehicle.

“The Department is pleased with the outcome of the trial,” said Colonel Thomas L’Esperance, Director of the Vermont State Police. “Corporal Scott is a senior member with the Department and throughout this lawsuit, we remained confident that he had acted in accordance with his training and experience. Corporal Scott’s quick thinking and swift action ultimately saved the lives of innocent civilians that day.”

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.