Eyewitness Recalls Dramatic Police Chase in Burlington

Body cam footage shows officer pulls out his gun, doesn't shoot

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Tuesday, the Chittenden County State's Attorney allowed a portion of body camera video capturing a police chase in Burlington, to be released.

The video picks up after police say Andrew Lavallee, 31, assaulted and robbed a man at the corner of Pine and Bank Streets.

In the video, you can see Cpl. Mike Hemond running past The Skinny Pancake on Lake Street.

Abe Doughty was there, getting a drink with a friend Saturday afternoon while he watched the scene unfold.

"It seemed like pretty unassuming at the time, until he like, came sprinting back and was like, yelling at whoever was in the car, like 'We gotta go, we gotta go!,' He just screeched his tires and like backed out, and the cop came and ran by," recalled Doughty.

Chief Brandon del Pozo says Cpl. Hemond knew Andrew Lavallee from previous interaction.

"So Cpl. Hemond actually drove the suspect, Andrew Lavallee, to drug court in the past, to try to get him, diverted from the criminal justice system, to try to get him treatment, instead of incarceration," said del Pozo.

The video later shows Lavallee putting his car in reverse, almost striking Hemond and other traffic.

As shown in the video and police tell Local 22 & Local 44, Hemond took out his gun, but does not shoot.

"This time in the middle of the day on College Street on a weekend, you had an officer that had seconds to react," said del Pozo.

"I actually thought it was cool because the cop seemed pretty hesitant to pull his gun, which obviously with what's going on in the country right now, I was surprised by that. Anywhere other than Burlington, Vermont... that cop would be shooting that guy," said Doughty.

It's a moment del Pozo is proud of.

"Under a lot of different circumstances, people would say he could have opened fire; he didn't. Still ended up getting the suspect, nobody was injured; that's good police work. I was proud to show it to people," said del Pozo.

Lavallee was later arrested without incident, and is being held without bail. He's due back in court next month to be arraigned on multiple charges.

Lavallee's attorney declined to provide a comment at this time.

Local 22 & Local 44 did request an interview with Cpl. Hemond, but he declined to go on-camera.


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