The owner of Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven pleaded not guilty Monday to charges related his arrest for allegedly pointing a semi-automatic pistol at three teenagers and threatening to shoot them.
Michael Bruno, 48, of Castleton, was arraigned on charges of kidnapping and extortion and two counts of aggravated assault. Police say Bruno erupted into “violent, tumultuous, and threatening behavior” just before 11:30 am Saturday at the racetrack.
Bruno unleashed a tirade of “abusive and obscene language,” police said, and held three 17-year-olds against their will “under circumstances which exposed them to a risk of serious bodily injury.” He is also accused of attempting to force one teen to perform an unspecified act against their will.
At Monday’s arraignment in Rutland, prosecutors sought to have Bruno held without bail. But, citing only minor convictions in the past, the judge released him with conditions that restrict his movements to work or home. The judge said he’s prohibited from possessing firearms, and that another employee must be present when he visits the racetrack.