By Patrick McArdle | Staff Writer
A Sheldon Place man, who is already facing multiple charges of impersonating a police officer, is now facing charges that he interceded in a street fight on Merchants Row on Saturday, pointed a BB gun at a man and claimed to be from “security.”
Eric W. Turco, 22, of Rutland, was arraigned in Rutland criminal court on Monday on a felony count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. He pleaded innocent to the charges and was ordered held on $10,000 bail.
In an affidavit, Officer Kenneth Mosher of the Rutland Police Department said police were dispatched to the area of Center Street at Merchants Row around 12:30 a.m. Saturday.
While there, police took Turco into custody and recovered the pistol, later identified as a .177 caliber BB gun, according to Mosher.
An employee of Clem’s, Nicholaus J. Waldron, told police he and another employee, Adam J. Rathbun, were outside Clem’s and Company when they saw two young men, later identified in the affidavit as Samuel Ritchie, 17, and Dana Roones, 18, knock over a trashcan.
The employees yelled to the teenagers to pick up the trashcan but instead a fight ensued, Waldron told police.
Waldron said he and Rathbun were attempting to hold the teenagers for police when Turco pointed a gun at the back of his head and claimed he was “security.” Waldron added, “Which to me, made no sense.”
Waldron said Rathbun was able to force the gun away from Turco and “tossed it away.”
After Turco was taken into custody, he told police he was walking around the Rutland Shopping Plaza, looking for discarded cigarette butts to smoke, when he came across the men fighting.
Mosher said Turco told him he tried to break up the fight “because I don’t like confrontation as much as the next person.”
Turco said he had the BB gun which he wears while working at a local consignment shop and said the gun is “mostly for show.”
In July, charges were filed against Turco after he was accused of posing as both a Vermont State Police trooper and a U.S. marshal at local businesses. At that time, police said there was also a warrant for Turco based on an allegation that he impersonated a Bellows Falls police officer.
According to police, Turco carried handcuffs and a toy star-shaped badge as proof he was a law-enforcement officer.
Mosher said he believed Turco had violated a condition of his release from his arrest over the summer that he not carry any items, like badges, that would identify him as a law-enforcement officer but that was not one of the charges for which Turco was arraigned on Monday.
Mosher said Ritchie and Roones were later arrested and are expected to be arraigned Dec. 24.