Police Using Video of VT Gas Protest to ID Suspects

Published 09/03 2014 04:50PM

Updated 09/03 2014 06:17PM

HINESBURG, Vt. - In new video, posted online by a group called Green Mountain Earth First!, protesters can be heard confronting Vermont Gas CEO Don Gilbert at his home in Hinesburg Friday night.

Police say some twenty-five people trespassed on Gilbert's land that night. The protesters goal: highlight their displeasure with the potential use of eminent domain along the path of the Addison County Natural Gas Pipeline.

Before police arrived, the protesters projected a documentary warning of natural gas hazards on the side of Gilbert's home.

"We have our bags of popcorn, and it's going to be like, the best kind of drive in ever," one protester said in the video.

Hinesburg police are now using the video to identify suspects.

"We'd like to thank the protesters for making the video because it’s going to make our job that much easier in identifying and further charges,” Hinesburg Community Police Chief Frank Koss said.

So far, police believe they've locked in on two people in particular. Those suspects likely participated in prior Vermont Gas protests as well.

Police say part of the reason they're taking this trespassing so seriously is because it happened at night, with a large group of people. And the homeowner could have had a much different reaction.

"There is an unknown, and do you really know if these people are going to come in, they're going to be violent, are they going to break into your house? In my time doing this job, I’ve never had an incident like this,” the Chief added.

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