by Vermont State Police and Gazette Staff
HARDWICK – Members of the Vermont State Police, including the Crisis Negotiation Unit and the Tactical Services Unit, were on scene early Tuesday, Jan. 10, at a location in Hardwick where a suspect in a domestic assault is barricaded as of press time.
The incident, at a home at 1619 Vermont Route 16, resulted in the closure of the road as of early Tuesday morning. Members of the public were advised to avoid the area and take alternate routes.
The individual is identified as Michael McCuen, 36, a resident of that address. The incident began when a female household member called the Hardwick Police Department at about noon Monday, Jan. 9, to report that she had been assaulted by McCuen. McCuen is known to police and has access to multiple firearms.
Hardwick police contacted the Vermont State Police to request assistance in responding to the call. The Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department and the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Enforcement Division also responded.
A nearby East Hardwick resident said, “police cars were blocking Route 16 before Cedar Street and Church Street and on Main Street at 14. They were at Mike Molleur’s logging barn and the home near it. That house is frequently rented. We could hear the megaphone from our house. Mike doesn’t live there. Here’s some of what we heard from the police’s loudspeaker: ‘Mike, this is the state police, we know you are in there, come out with your hands up.’”
The victim was able to leave the residence safely, while responding police agencies established a perimeter and began attempting to contact McCuen and persuade him to surrender. As of 4:45 a.m. Tuesday, those efforts were continuing. The victim of the domestic assault suffered minor injuries; no further injuries have been reported.
This incident was contained to the Hardwick home, and there was no danger to the community.