A Vermont man jailed since Friday is expected to answer to accusations Tuesday that he tried to lure a child for what he thought would be sexual contact and then assaulted responding police officers.
A defense attorney for Michael Sumner, 33, invoked the right to wait 24 hours before entering a plea in the case Monday.
South Burlington police said they received a tip from a website that pointed them to conversations between a child and an adult in which the grownup was trying to get photos from a girl.
That report prompted an undercover sting detectives said left Sumner thinking he’d connect with a 13-year-old for sex.
Police were waiting at the planned meeting point at a hotel, but the arrest took a scary turn in the parking lot when chief Shawn Burke said Sumner turned his own car into a weapon.
“These were clear South Burlington police cars ordering him to stop, and he decided to smash through them instead,” Burke said.
The chief told necn that five officers suffered minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises consistent with car crashes with airbag deployments, and that three of his cruisers plus a fourth state car were damaged in the getaway attempt.
“Cars can be repaired,” Burke said. “People— not so much. So I’m really relieved the injuries sustained by the officers were minor.”
As for Sumner, after putting off the court hearing for a day, he’s now expected to answer to the accusations Tuesday morning.
According to court paperwork, Sumner will enter pleas on two counts of sexual exploitation for allegedly attempting to lure a child, and five counts accusing him of aggravated assault on members of law enforcement.
Burke praised his officers for making a split-second decision to not use potentially lethal force during this wild arrest, telling necn it would’ve been too risky for others in the area, since it went down in a parking lot.