Duxbury Woman Faces Multiple Charges
Posted on Jun 14, 2007 - 4:53 PM
Article published Jun 8, 2007
Duxbury woman faces multiple charges, including animal cruelty
BARRE – A Duxbury woman was charged Thursday with DUI#2, DUI test refusal and resisting arrest and also with a charge of cruelty to animals for allegedly kicking the Vermont State Police Middlesex barracks police dog, Freesia.
Thirty-five-year-old Christine Bilbrey, who was represented by defense attorney Kimberly Cheney, pleaded innocent in Vermont District Court in Barre to the charges and was released on conditions.
The charge of cruelty to a police animal, which carries a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment, stems from a May 22 incident in which Bilbrey was arrested for DUI in Middlesex.
Police responded just after 4 p.m. on May 22 to the Middlesex Country Store to a report that a woman was "in the store who would not leave the men in the store alone and was hugging and groping at them," according to the police affidavit.
The caller told police she thought the woman, later identified as Bilbrey, might be on drugs.
When police arrived at the store Bilbrey was sitting on a bench outside the store with another woman.
"Bilbrey was displaying large mood swings going from docile to frightened of men who were walking in and out of the store," police said.
According to police, Bilbrey got up several times and walked toward the busy intersection of Routes 2 and 100B, interfering with the conversation with police and ultimately leading to Bilbrey getting restrained, "specifically so she would not run into the road."
Police, who smelled alcohol on Bilbrey, gave her the sobriety tests, which she failed to complete successfully, and located her vehicle, which was parked askew in the store lot. Police saw "an open bottle of vodka in the vehicle that had only a small amount left in the bottom."
Police said that during one of the sobriety tests, Bilbrey tried to run away from police, which led to more restraint and getting handcuffed.
Police said that as they proceeded to arrest Bilbrey for suspicion of DUI, "Bilbrey resisted every step to the car, often by putting her legs out in front of her and trying to stop our forward motion towards the vehicle."
At one point police had to put Bilbrey on the ground to restrain her legs, and then they had to pick her up to put her into the police cruiser to transport her to the Middlesex barracks.
Police said on the ride to the barracks Bilbrey, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was unruly in the car, requiring the trooper to hold onto her left shoulder to inhibit her movement.
At the barracks, Bilbrey was placed into a holding cell, restrained, and subsequently refused a sample of her breath. In the cell she was slamming her head against the metal bench and the cinder block wall, police said.
Lieutenant John Imburgio, the barracks commander, sat with Bilbrey to keep her from hitting her head while police waited for a screener from Washington County Mental Health to arrive.
According to police, while Bilbrey was in the cell Freesia, "a small, black Labrador Retriever, also a Vermont State Police bomb dog, wandered into the holding cell.
"Freesia is a docile animal only trained to detect explosives and is not trained to bite, attack, or protect in a physical manner," police said.
As a trooper was directing Freesia away from Bilbrey, she "took a full kick at Freesia," police said.
Although Freesia evaded the kick enough to only get grazed by Bilbrey's foot, police said the woman's action "was clearly meant to torment, harass, or hurt the dog."
Bilbrey was ultimately screened, sent to the Dale unit to detox and cited into court.
Bilbrey has two prior convictions, one for DUI and one for careless and negligent operation of a vehicle, both from 2004 out of Chittenden County.
Contact Daphne Larkin at (802) 479-0191 ext.1171 or firstname.lastname@example.org.