(Editor's Note: This story will be updated.)
Vermont State Police Trooper Robert Zink has been cited on suspicion of simple assault following a six-week investigation into a use-of-force incident in February.
In a press release issued by the Vermont State Police, Zink was cited after the Vermont Attorney General's Office requested Zink be cited for his actions after he was accused of striking a man who was on the ground and handcuffed but was actively resisting on Feb. 23.
Zink, 39, of Arlington works out of the Shaftsbury Barracks. He has been on paid relief from duty status since Feb. 24. As of Wednesday, April 7, he is on unpaid relief from duty.
According to the news release, the complaint came from an internally generated report from a trooper who raised concerns about the use of force.
According to the press release, Zink and several other officers were attempting to arrest Christopher Campbell, 41, of Shaftsbury at 3:45 p.m. Feb. 23 in a driveway on Tinkham Road.
Campbell is accused of having driven off the road several times near his home and was accused of drunken driving. As officers attempted to take him into custody, a struggle ensued.
"Campbell was actively resisting arrest at the time, but the strikes do not appear to be in response to Campbell’s actions," the release reports.
VSP said in the release that "members of the state police worked closely with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office on the investigation. After reviewing the state police case, the Attorney General’s Office requested that Zink be issued a citation on a charge of simple assault."
According to information released by the State Police, Zink was hired in 2008 and assigned to the Shaftsbury Barracks after he graduated from the Vermont Police Academy.
He became a detective trooper with the narcotics investigation unit in 2012 and then returned as a senior trooper in 2013, and a detective trooper in 2014 and promoted to sergeant/patrol commander two years later.
In August 2019, he was assigned to the Rutland Barracks and rank returned to trooper. He then transferred back to the Shaftsbury Barracks this past December.
The investigation was overseen by Detective Sgt. Jacob Metayer out of the Williston Barracks.
"The case’s lead investigator was assigned from the Williston Barracks to avoid any potential conflicts of interest in pursuing the matter," according to the VSP in the release.
Zink was cited through his attorney Wednesday on suspicion of simple assault and ordered to appear for arraignment at 8:15 a.m. Monday, April 12, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Bennington.
He was not lodged or required to post bail.