Police Wish to Touch Base with Transient Man


OFFICER: Joe Swanson
CONTACT#: 802-457-1420
DATE/TIME: 060213/ afternoon​
LOCATION: Vail Field
POI: Unknown
AGE: approx. 20 YOA
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Unknown/ Possible Transient

SUMMARY OF INCIDENT: On June 2nd WPD received a report of a suspicious acting white male subject who has been seen hanging around the pavilion at Vail Field in Woodstock.

The subject has reportedly told several male youths that he is homeless and spent a night under the pavilion.

The subject also advised the youths that he grew up in West Woodstock, went to WES and Woodstock Middle School and then to KUA for high school.

The subject had a bag with him and in the bag he had an X-Box and a small laptop computer screen to play it on.

This male subject is currently unidentified but was described as being approximately 20 years of age, 5’6” tall, last seen wearing chef’s pants, a polo shirt and a hat (unknown colors).

The responding officer checked the area for the subject, however he was gone upon the officer’s arrival.

At this time there are no charges pending regarding this incident, however WPD would like to identify and speak with the subject.

Anyone with any information regarding this subject is asked to contact the Woodstock Police Department and ask to speak with Officer J. Swanson.

Note: WEB also noted the individual sleeping on a Village Green park bench early Sunday morning. The individual did not stir but was noted by WEB to be wearing hot pink crocs.

17 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by w on June 3, 2013 at 15:49

    What is “suspicious” about this “unknown” person?

    Seriously, why is this reported as a police matter?
    Does being “unknown” make you instantly a “suspect”?
    Of what, exactly?
    Labeling someone “suspect” on the basis of nothing
    is not acceptable outside of a police state.

    Our country and our town have been increasingly
    over-policed for decades now.
    Why isn’t it suspicious to report a “homeless” person to the police?
    Are we all supposed to be informants now?
    Is every action potentially criminal?
    Where is the humanity?
    Are we not looking to house the homeless?
    Are we raising the criminalization of poverty to new levels?
    The implied intolerance that allows a report like this to seem reasonable
    should shame anyone who considers it.


    • Perhaps Mr. Boardman the police would like to ASSIST this individual find housing or whatever may be his needs…While your points in general are valid, lets assume police seek to HELP!



      • Posted by Peter on June 3, 2013 at 17:12

        I’m sure Kevin Dann thought he was living in a “police state” when Judge Boardman had him barred from the court house after ringing the bell on one of his history tours. Nothing could be worked out then. Free Kevin Dann!


        • Posted by w on June 4, 2013 at 19:38

          Funny! Neither Kevin Dann nor anyone on his behalf approached anyone at the courthouse to apologize to the frightened/angry staff, or to work anything out. Talk about a sense of entitlement!


  2. Posted by w on June 3, 2013 at 17:25

    When “helpful” police taser impaired people to death,
    no benign assumption is warranted without clear supporting evidence.
    There was nothing in your post to suggest the impulse was beneficent
    (even though it may have been)
    and there was much in your post to suggest both civilian and police
    behavior using a criminalizing frame to understand an event
    that had no inherent criminality about it.

    If the reflexive response is to condone reflexive “suspicions,”
    then there are TWO behavior patterns of which to be skeptical.


    • This individual needs help and it was the Woodstock Early Bird post that led to his identification.

      The press release issued by police was therefore useful if only to learn who this person is and the circumstances of their avowed homelessness.

      In fact the release did not state anything about the young man doing anything threatening or criminal.

      Even as an individual without children, Woodstock Early Bird can understand parental concern for an unknown person camping in an area where their children play.

      For police to investigate a certainly suspicious circumstance (ie different and unusual) certainly seems to WEB in keeping with their duties of making sure a public play area is safe.



  3. So basically the guy’s mistake was picking Vail Field to crash in. He should have gone for one of the bridges.

    I don’t know if you folks have noticed the down-and-out people in West Lebanon asking for help by the interstate exits, but 5 years of a bad economy is leading to more incidences like this.

    Well thank goodness Woodstock has a police force to kick ’em down the road:


    • Hunter:

      Nobody is kicking anyone down the road. Get a grip. In fact quite the opposite.

      This person appeared and identified himself as in need of assistance. Kids and or their parents reported the situation and police attempted to locate the individual. He was NOT kicked out of anywhere or anyplace.

      If you really want to help rather than get on a high horse about police who have done nothing wrong, you might consider and support the role of good government – one that helps the homeless and the mentally ill rather than cutting off programs that actually make a difference to them so that more and more have to sleep under bridges and on park benches.

      We have heard backchannel from parents who say they are glad to know of any situation the involves their kids, criminal or not. They appreciate a press release on the matter whether there is nothing to worry about or there is.

      There are plenty of instances where we might ask more of our police, but this is not one of them. We appreciate them doing their job and doing what they can to help this individual whose location, BTW, is unknown. While WPD know who he is and are ready to help, he has not been located.

      And since there is nothing of note in terms of any incident and he has done nothing wrong, his name is NOT being released.

      You might better think of him now as a missing person, whose kin are concerned and hoping for the best.



  4. This poor guy. Crazy.

    Sent from my iPhaone


  5. Posted by Molly on June 4, 2013 at 10:52

    Yes, let’s help those in need and take care of them. Humanity is never
    out of fashion!
    Right on, Julia.


  6. Posted by Catherine Herlihy on June 4, 2013 at 11:06

    What happened to the policy of people fully identifying themselves when posting on this blog?


    • The policy stands: W is William Boardman and VermontLiberty is Hunter Melville.

      Also Peter is Peter Shoemaker and Upper Valley Girl is Ann Aikens.

      They dont need to post other than their email addresses in general but WEB needs to know and has asked for ID for just these circumstances when someone wishes to know.

      Both Boardman and Melville are well aware of the policy. Ann, Aka
      Upper Valley Girl is new to our comment section.


      • Posted by William Boardman on June 4, 2013 at 20:01

        Now that you mention it, I see that I was identified as “w” and I have no idea why the site did that. I have no problem being “William Boardman” and I’ve certainly been called worse. ;-)))

        As for the initial issue — “INCIDENT/VIOLATION: Suspicious Person” — that’s the police dept. choice of wording for a public document. Not good for this situation, as I mentioned.

        It should be easy enough for thoughtful people to make clear the difference between quasi-criminal news and quasi-social work news. And it would be considerably more reassuring to hear it directly from the police, rather than being reassured second hand (on the basis of what?) that it’s all hunky-dory.

        To the extent that this website is journalistic, Julia, some attention to sourcing would add credibility. And you’d seem less like the WPD press secretary. ;-)))

        At least his privacy was protected, that’s decent.

        Sorry no one has anything to say one way or another about the nature of police states and the nature of contemporary American culture.


  7. Posted by charlet on June 5, 2013 at 06:13

    The most disturbing part of this ongoing story is that some young person is homeless.He told that to the young people .he met.Despite this information the response was to describe him as a “suspicious”character. Anytime a person is described as the “subject” ,as it is in the language of a police report, it may bring up fearful reaction and further endorces a sort of profiling which is dangerous.Addtionally ,adding such a specific description of the person and their attire is also not protecting his privacy in a small communty.


    • Agreed on problems profiling but lets get a couple things straight:

      1. This person was reported to police as suspicious by concerned residents. The police report factually identified the nature of that report.

      2. The only way police can determine whether someone is OR IS NOT an issue is to locate them or identify them.

      3. Descriptions are also factual and the only way to identify someone.

      4. As a result of this release and the identification of the individual we can now, thanks to police, tell you this:

      A. This person is not a threat to anyone and has no record of ever being a threat and has no criminal record. Parents can rest easy that this person has no ill will against anyone. Isnt it better for their peace of mind to know this?

      B. This person’s kin are concerned but due to a medical mental health situation cannot provide a home at this time. It is sad that this person cannot settle down but now that police are aware of the situation they can get this person some help. None of this would be possible without the report issued with the identification.

      As a result of a report of someone we now know not to be suspicious perhaps intervention can be accomplished before this person’a life gets any worse.

      It is also well documented these days that mental health patients kicked out of treatment or of their own free will end up in our communities. Frankly, off medication, sometimes these individuals can appear to be or actually are quite threatening.

      We understand the points made by those concerned about potential police harassment of non criminals, but in this case we think a mountain is being made out of a molehill.

      Police were responding to citizen concerns: That’s their job!


  8. Posted by William Boardman on June 8, 2013 at 14:48

    Julia does good police PR,
    but muddies separate issues
    that are easily distinguishable.


    • Boardman writes knee-jerk reaction comments well but fails to specify issues concerning journalistic sourcing or, for that matter, consider that unilateral condemnation of police on all counts, on all issues, is an indication of a feeble and closed mind unable to distinguish case by case differences.

      We’d rather be muddy than a reactionary liberal or reactionary conservative any day!

      Muddy indicates the reality that situations are often not clearly as black or white as many would like to make them.



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