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Addiction in Franklin County

Man facing heroin charges threatened suicide in back of cruiser

BERNARDSTON — A Connecticut man arrested on charges of heroin trafficking attempted to take his own life while in police custody, according to state troopers.

State police reported that Vincent Paris, 38, of Hamden, Conn., tried to strangle himself in the back of the cruiser while en route to the Shelburne barracks Thursday.

Paris was arrested on charges of trafficking in heroin, reckless endangerment of a child, disguising himself to obstruct justice and possession of drug paraphernalia with intent to distribute. He was ordered held on $20,000 bail after pleading innocent to all charges Friday.

Paris also had a warrant for failing to appear in Franklin County Superior Court for a heroin distribution case that stemmed from an October arrest in Greenfield.

Paris was arrested when troopers Michael McNally and Joshua Perini pulled over a car with a cracked windshield that was tailgating a tractor-trailer on Interstate 91 headed to Vermont at about 6 p.m. Thursday, McNally wrote.

Troopers saw a baby in the car’s back seat and noticed a strong odor of burnt marijuana when they approached the car, McNally wrote. Paris admitted to smoking the drug and said he tossed the joint out of the car before being pulled over, according to the report.

Paris told police they were racists and said that he was only being questioned because he was black, wrote McNally.

McNally said the driver gave permission for troopers to search the vehicle. In the trunk, they found 260 individual-sized bags of heroin, branded “big bang,” 23 grams of the drug packaged in bulk, several empty wax paper bags and a kit for stamping them with the “big bang” brand, according to the report.

Paris began banging his head against the cruiser’s window, told troopers he was going to kill himself and asked McNally to put his gun to his head and pull the trigger, the trooper wrote.

While banging his head against the window, Paris shouted “stop hitting me with your nightstick” as McNally spoke to dispatch on the radio.

On the way to the barracks, Paris wrapped the cruiser’s seatbelt around his neck, according to McNally. The trooper then pulled over, took the seatbelt off Paris’ neck and Perini checked his pulse, then secured the seatbelt so Paris couldn’t choke himself with it before proceeding to the barracks.

The driver of the car, Tashaya Standburry, 20, also of Hamden, will be summoned to court on charges of trafficking in heroin, using another person’s driver’s license, failing to identify oneself and traffic violations.

McNally wrote that Standburry’s trafficking charge stemmed from her refusal to cooperate with officers and the proximity of the drugs to her own luggage.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain

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