VT Boater Honored for Assisting Warden in Pond Assault

Dale Gilman was recently recognized by Lt. Dave Gregory for coming to the aid of a state game warden who was being assaulted in July 2016.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and Fish & Wildlife Board recently honored Dale Gilman of Danville, Vermont, for coming to the assistance of warden Randy Hazard at an incident in Averill, Vermont, in July 2016.

On the day of the incident, Hazard noticed John A. Gagnon, 48, of Norton, Vermont, swimming illegally at the Averill Pond access area. When Hazard attempted to question him, Gagnon charged the warden, knocking him down and repeatedly punching him in the head.

Dale Gilman was at the access area launching a boat with his family that afternoon and witnessed the assault taking place. He quickly ran to Hazard’s aid. With Gilman’s assistance, Hazard freed himself and subdued and handcuffed his attacker. A few minutes later, the assailant attempted to flee by running handcuffed into the lake and had to be rescued by the warden.

Additional law enforcement personnel soon arrived and assisted with the arrest and processing of Gagnon.

“Without the help of Mr. Gilman, this very well could have ended in tragedy,” said Col. Jason Batchelder.  “We can’t thank him enough for stepping in to help. Because of his heroic act, nobody was critically injured, and law enforcement were able to arrest Mr. Gagnon and charge him with assaulting an officer.”