A fourth man has been charged in connection with the alleged harassment of Addison County farmworkers. Unlike the first three men, Chase Atkins, 24, of Addison, faces a hate-crime offense.
Vermont State Police said Thursday that Atkins deflated the tires on the vehicle of a Migrant Justice employee who was visiting a farm and later left a threatening voicemail for the immigrant-advocacy organization.
State prosecutors in Addison County charged Atkins with disturbing the peace by phone, a misdemeanor, with a hate-crime enhancement for the voicemail. Atkins was not charged for the flat tires because they were undamaged and could be reinflated, VSP spokesperson Adam Silverman said, summarizing the state's attorney's reasoning.
In the voicemail, Atkins "asked" Migrant Justice "not to return to farms in a message that would have left a reasonable person to feel threatened and intimidated," state police wrote in a press release.
Further details about the alleged offense won't be available until after Atkins is arraigned in Addison County next month, police said.
Migrant Justice program coordinator Marita Canedo told Seven Days that the messages left for the group promised “worse things will happen” if members returned to the area.
Christopher Thompson, 26, Christian Leggett, 19, and Bryan Ashley-Selleck, 26, were charged with arson, aggravated stalking, petit larceny, noise in the nighttime, unlawful mischief and giving false information to police.