SSRI Stories Note: The Physicians Desk Reference states that antidepressants can cause a craving for alcohol and can cause alcohol abuse. Also, the liver cannot metabolize the antidepressant and the alcohol simultaneously, thus leading to higher levels of both alcohol and the antidepressant in the human body.
Westford man charged in Burlington gun firing
By Matt Ryan, Free Press Staff Writer • Tuesday, July 20, 2010
A Westford man accused of twice firing a handgun during an argument in downtown Burlington during the weekend was charged Monday with reckless endangerment.
The incident was the second in a span of 27 hours in which gunshots were fired in downtown, law enforcement said.
Burlington police officers responding to a report of gunshots at about 3 a.m. Saturday arrested Jesse Palker, 27, on Bank Street and determined he had fired his Smith & Wesson .40-caliber handgun in City Hall Park and near the Marketplace Parking Garage, according to court papers. No one was injured in the shootings.
Palker had been drinking he had a blood-alcohol content of 0.087 percent about two hours after the shooting, according to court papers and was on medication that included the antidepressant Zoloft, Chittenden County State’s Attorney T.J. Donovan said.
“Any time you mix alcohol, guns and drugs, it’s a bad thing,” Donovan said. “The conversation needs to be had, (about) young men and guns.”
Palker pleaded not guilty in Vermont District Court in Burlington to two misdemeanor charges.
Police arrested Palker the day after Donovan’s office charged two Connecticut men with robbing a taxi driver at gunpoint in Shelburne. Investigators also linked the men, Bryan Jarquin, 21, of West Haven and Rayshunn Trevathan, 22, of Bridgeport to two assaults and robberies in Burlington on Thursday, during which shots were fired, Donovan said. Three victims in Burlington were injured, but not by gunfire, according to court papers.
Jarquin and Trevathan each pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of assault and robbery with a weapon related to the alleged robbery of the taxi driver. They could face more charges as early as today.
This month, a jury convicted Jason Meade, 25, of Essex of second-degree attempted murder arising from a shooting in July 2009 at a Burlington party. Meade had pleaded not guilty. No one was injured.
At Palker’s arraignment, Donovan told Judge Linda Levitt that the defendant needed “some real mental treatment or care right now.”
Gregory Glennon, an attorney for Palker, said his client suffered “very serious injuries” in a car accident in 2005, and has “something along the lines of a brain injury.” Prior to the shooting, Palker was robbed when $200 in cash was snatched out of his hand, Glennon said.
Palker posted $2,000 bail and is free on conditions, including that he not possess guns or be in the company of children. Glennon said Palker worked full time as a children’s camp counselor at a local ski resort.
Palker’s next court hearing is scheduled for Aug. 18.
Donovan said despite the recent rash of shootings in Burlington, he does not fear walking through the city at night. He commended the work of the Burlington Police Department.
“Burlington’s a safe city,” he said.
This story appeared on page B1 of Tuesday's Burlington Free Press