Vt. State Police searching for Bethel man convicted of killing friend in 2017 crash

  • Jeremy Potwin walks out of court after being arraigned on Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, at Windsor Superior Court in White River Junction, Vt. Potwin was arrested on Saturday after allegedly being involved in a fatal accident in Royalton on Friday night. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Jeremy Potwin leaves Windsor Superior District Court in White River Junction, Vt., on March 1, 2018, after his sentencing. He pleaded guilty in January to three charges in connection with a fatal crash in South Royalton, Vt., in August 2017. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Authorities force entry into a home at 896 Gage Road on Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Royalton. Police were searching for Jeremy Potwin, 39, of Bethel, who violated conditions of release stemming from a conviction in a fatal car crash and escaped from Probation & Parole, police said in a press release. Police asked anyone in the home to come out before forcing the door open. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Vermont State Police Trooper Jeremy Lyon talks with another trooper at a road block Gage Road on Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Bethel. Police were searching for Jeremy Potwin, 39, of Bethel, who violated conditions of release stemming from a conviction in a fatal car crash and escaped from Probation & Parole, police said in a press release. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Vermont State Police Trooper Jeremy Lyon walks over to an ambulance at a road block Gage Road on Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Bethel. Police were searching for Jeremy Potwin, 39, of Bethel, who violated conditions of release stemming from a conviction in a fatal car crash and escaped from Probation & Parole, police said in a press release. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

  • Vermont State Police Trooper Jeremy Lyon rolls up spike strips at a road block Gage Road on Saturday, May 11, 2019, in Bethel. Police were searching for Jeremy Potwin, 39, of Bethel, who violated conditions of release stemming from a conviction in a fatal car crash and escaped from Probation & Parole, police said in a press release. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Purchase a reprint »

Staff Report
Published: 5/11/2019 5:41:19 PM

BETHEL — Vermont State Police asked for help on Saturday to find a “potentially dangerous” man who has two warrants out for his arrest.

Jeremy Potwin, 39, of Bethel, violated conditions of release stemming from a conviction in a fatal car crash and escaped from Probation & Parole, police said in a news release.

Potwin pleaded guilty in January 2018 after he left the scene of a 2017 crash in South Royalton that killed one of his childhood friends.

In that 2017 crash, police said, Potwin was speeding on Back River Road on Aug. 4 when he lost control and crashed into a guardrail. The guardrail pierced the vehicle and impaled passenger James Arbuckle, who died at the scene, according to an affidavit.

A third person in the vehicle, Tyler Leach, suffered minor injuries.

Potwin pleaded guilty in January 2018 to negligent operation, leaving the scene of an accident and driving with a suspended license.

Potwin expressed remorse for his actions and received a suspended sentence but remained on probation for five years.

Authorities also want to question Potwin about a possible connection to a vehicle pursuit with the Vermont State Police on May 3 and about an aggravated assault and kidnapping on Thursday in Braintree.

In that incident, he is accused of assaulting a man and firing a gun, police said. No one was seriously injured.

State police have been searching for Potwin for several days and had a SWAT team presence in the neighborhood where he lives on Thursday night, Capt. Scott Dunlap said.

Authorities returned to the neighborhood on Saturday and forced entry at 896 Gage Road, a home in Royalton owned by Potwin.

Potwin is described as white; 5 feet, 8 inches tall; and 180 pounds, with green eyes and red hair.

Police said he should be considered armed and dangerous and may be driving a 2005 black Ford Ranger pickup truck with Vermont license plate 351A792.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or the Vermont State Police in Royalton at 802-234-9933.

Correction

Vermont State Police searched a home that was owned by Jeremy Potwin at 896 Gage Road in Royalton on Saturday night. An earlier version of this story and the photo caption gave an incorrect street number for the house.



UPDATE: Vermont State Police on Saturday night fatally shot a 39-year Bethel man following a standoff after he emerged from a Gage Road home with a female hostage and pointed a weapon toward members of a SWAT team, authorities said.


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