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Police: Man wielded knife

  • Connor Hersey (Lebanon Police photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 8/17/2021 12:48:55 PM
Modified: 8/17/2021 12:48:57 PM

HARTFORD VILLAGE — A 28-year-old Woodstock man who was charged with wielding a machete in West Lebanon in the spring is facing new charges after Hartford police say he brandished a knife, ran from officers and jumped into the White River earlier this month.

Connor Hersey pleaded not guilty in Windsor Superior Court last week to misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, simple assault with fluids and three counts of violation of the conditions of his release related to the Aug. 6 incident, according to court documents. Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Mann ordered him released on conditions that include giving his address and number to court clerks; coming to court when ordered; and abiding by his previous conditions of release including no alcohol and no dangerous weapons, according to court documents.

The charges stem from a call Hartford police received around 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 6 from a resident near the intersection of Maple and Elk streets, who said a man — later identified as Hersey — was standing in the area, yelling and gesturing at passers-by, according to an affidavit written by Hartford Police Cpl. Mitchel Cable.  

Police arrived and saw Hersey but initially decided to let him walk back to his campsite, to “de-escalate” the situation, the affidavit said. 

“I know Hersey to have mental health issues and he has assaulted police when intoxicated,” Cable wrote in the affidavit. 

Officers spoke with Hersey as he was walking back and noticed that he was drinking a can of Four Loko, an alcoholic beverage, according to the affidavit. As they spoke, Hersey talked about a police shooting, which “appeared the basis for his volatile behavior,” the affidavit said. Though police did not say what shooting Hersey was referencing, the incident happened one day after Hartford Police Cpl. Eric Clifford shot and killed 35-year-old Joseph John Howard in Hartford Village following an altercation Thursday afternoon.

A short time later, police saw Hersey again, this time walking east on Maple Street, drinking alcohol and “causing a disturbance,” the affidavit said. Police told Hersey to get out of the road but Hersey pulled a knife out of his pocket and ignored orders to drop the knife and leave the area, according to the affidavit. 

Hersey continued walking past the Hartford Dismas House on Maple Street and then broke into a run, with officers firing foam bullets at him as he fled, the affidavit said. Hersey was hit by one of the bullets but was undeterred and ran down the embankment toward the White River, according to police. 

When he got to the water, Hersey jumped in and tried to swim or wade to the other side. 

At one point, while he was in the water, Hersey stuck his arms out and yelled “just end it,” according to the affidavit. 

With help from a probation officer who knew the 28-year-old, police convinced Hersey to get out of the water and took him into custody, according to Cable.

During their search of Hersey, police found a knife and two cans of Four Loko. They also learned Hersey had thrown another knife into the river, according to the affidavit. 

On the way to Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center for evaluation, Hersey rode in an ambulance with Cable and started spitting at the officer, the affidavit said. In the hospital, Hersey was “belligerent and aggressive” and had to be restrained, Cable wrote.

The incidents continued when Hersey was released from the hospital and taken to the jail in a police car; in the car he head-butted the window frame and spat on the back seat and, once out of the car, charged at Cable while he was still in restraints, the affidavit said. 

Hersey in April was charged with criminal threatening with a deadly weapon and robbery after police say he threatened someone with a machete at a Circle K in West Lebanon.

He pleaded not guilty and was ordered released on conditions that included he not drink any alcohol, he not have dangerous weapons, and he stay at an address he provided to the court, according to a bail order at the time.  

According to a news release from Lebanon police at the time, Hersey was listed as living in Enfield, but in court documents from the most recent incident, he is listed as living in Woodstock.

Following the incident earlier this month, police charged Hersey with three counts of violating the conditions of his release for not following those orders. 

Messages to Hersey for comment on the charges were not returned Monday. 

Anna Merriman can be reached at or 603-727-3216.

Valley News

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