BARRE — A string of reports from runners and cyclists that a driver had menaced them with his vehicle on River Road in Moretown has culminated with a charge against a Middlesex man.
George Fox, 69, was cited Wednesday on a charge of negligent operation and is due in Washington County criminal court in Barre on Sept. 4, according to Vermont State Police.
Trooper Todd Stackhouse said state police in Middlesex had received several complaints about Fox from recreational users of River Road, a popular route for runners and cyclists that is designated as part of the Cross Vermont Trail. Local athletes had been warning each other about the aggressive driver via email and encouraging reports to police.
In June, four cyclists reported Fox had swerved toward them and nearly hit them, Stackhouse said. The cyclists said Fox failed to move to the left side of the road when passing them, even though there was no traffic coming the other way.
According to Stackhouse, the cyclists also said the behavior had been going on for a long time. Stackhouse said he spoke to Fox after that incident, giving him a warning and informing him of the rules of the road.
On July 8, Stackhouse said, he received another complaint, this time from a runner saying that Fox swerved extremely close to her and honked his horn aggressively. The woman also said several people she knew had had similar interactions with Fox.
Stackhouse said he notified Fox of the citation Wednesday. He said Fox has indicated he doesn’t feel he was being reckless or creating a hazard.
“His side is that there are numerous bicyclists and runners blocking the roadway,” Stackhouse said.
According to the trooper, negligent operation is a misdemeanor. If convicted, Fox would have his license suspended and could face fines or jail time, Stackhouse said.MORE IN Central Vermont
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