By Eric Francis
WOODSTOCK – A bar patron who gave his name as “Satan” when Woodstock Police tried to pull him out of a stand of pine trees behind the library at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning is facing charges for smashing out the front door of Bentley’s restaurant and allegedly spitting on police and emergency medical technicians who were trying to help him.
Christopher Babbin, 27, of Ludlow made an appearance in Windsor District Court in downtown White River Junction Tuesday afternoon where his public defender, attorney Dan Stevens, entered innocent pleas on Babbin’s behalf to misdemeanor counts of unlawful mischief and simple assault on law enforcement with bodily fluids.
Bentley’s bartender Careen Little told police that Babbin, an employee at the Woodstock Inn, had come into the bar Monday evening to watch the Patriots game with a couple of friends and seemed “well presented and unremarkable” up to the point that she noticed that the friend who was supposed to be his designated driver had left without him and she made the decision to cut him off from further drinks.
“He began to get increasingly agitated and antagonistic,” Little wrote in a sworn statement. “I attempted to get him to leave and he became combative. Two male customers at the bar got up and got involved out of concern for my safety.”
Little said that Babbin resisted the attempts to get him out the door while screaming that he was going to slit one of the men’s throats. “Once outside, he turned and put his fist through the glass pane of the outer door,” Little wrote.
As a bleeding Babbin ran across the street towards the bank, Bentley’s employee Andrew Davies gave chase, following him on “a number of curves” as he ran around the block between Mechanic and Court streets before laying down in a stand of trees near a construction site. “I pretended not to see him and called the police again,” Davies wrote.
Woodstock Police Sgt. William Hanson and Officer Jennifer Hutchins arrived and, after unsuccessfully ordering Babbin to get up and come out to speak to them, “had to go into the area, which had numerous sharp limbs and branches, and put cuffs on him when he…became very combative and disorderly,” Sgt. Hanson recalled, noting “He said his name was Satan.”
Police say Babbin, who had “lots of blood on his hands and his face,” then allegedly went on loudly threatening to cut both officers throats and kill their entire families all the while refusing to cooperate with attempts to get him disentangled from the trees. Finally, Hanson wrote in his affidavit, police slung a rescue harness around Babbin and physically dragged him out to the roadway.
“Mr. Babbin had numerous cuts on his hands and was also bleeding from a cut on his head,” when a Woodstock Ambulance arrived on the scene, Hanson wrote.
Officer Hutchins wrote that Babbin “was continuously spitting saliva and blood” at her and later at one of the EMTs in the ambulance as he was transported to Mount Ascutney Hospital for treatment of his injuries. While in the ambulance, as personnel attempted to treat him, “he again became combative and had to be physically restrained with straps and blankets as well as being held onto the stretcher,” Hutchins recalled, adding, “At this time Babbin was continually grabbing at my legs, covering me in blood.”
After being checked over at the emergency room during the pre-dawn hours, Babbin was lodged for the remainder of the night at the Springfield jail on a “hold until sober” order before he was taken to the courthouse in White River Junction and eventually released from there on pre-trial conditions, including a court-order that he stay out of Bentley’s while his case is pending.
By Eric Francis