- Associated Press - Sunday, December 22, 2019

NEWPORT CITY, Vt. (AP) - A Vermont man who gained notoriety for smashing police cruisers with a tractor in 2012 is accused of making online threats against his family.

Roger Pion, of Newport City, is charged with nine counts of criminal threatening and three counts of domestic assault, police said. The Caledonian Record reports that he pleaded not guilty on Thursday.

Pion posted a “hit list” of nine relatives he allegedly wanted to kill and then sought to borrow a handgun because he wanted “to do away with number 7 and number 8,” police said. Some of his relatives have armed themselves, and others won’t return to Vermont because they’re fearful of him, police said.

Police are also investigating a threat Pion allegedly made against a woman who warned officers that he was not been taking his medication.

A judge allowed Pion to be released into the custody of a responsible adult approved by the court, and Pion was no longer being held at the Northern State Correctional Facility on Sunday. It was unclear if he had a lawyer.

In 2012, Pion drove a tractor from his father’s farm to Newport City and flattened seven cruisers and vehicles in the parking lot of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department. He was arrested at gunpoint while headed to city police department.

A judge found that Pion was not competent to stand trial, and he was hospitalized for a time, the newspaper said. Family court rules required him to follow a treatment plan or risk being hospitalized again.

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