Vermont Short Track Owner Arrested On Charges Including Kidnapping, Assault

Mike Bruno (Photo: Courtesy Vermont State Police)

Mike Bruno, owner of Devil’s Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vt., was arrested Saturday on a multitude of charges involving an incident that took place at the track. 

According to the Vermont State Police, Bruno was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, aggravated disorderly conduct, unlawful restraint in the first degree, kidnapping and extortion after an incident at the track involving himself and three 17-year old individuals.

Vermont state police responded to the track at around 11:30 am Saturday following a threatening complaint. 

According to a Vermont State Police press release

“Through investigation it was determined Michael G. Bruno, age 48, of Castleton Vermont was armed with a deadly weapon and threatened to use the deadly weapon (semi-automatic pistol) on three juveniles.  Troopers further learned Bruno engaged in a course of conduct directed at the three juveniles with the intent to cause them inconvenience and engaged in violent, tumultuous, and threatening behavior while using abusive and obscene language and threatening serious bodily injury (through active pointing of a firearm).  Bruno knowingly restrained three juveniles under circumstances which exposed them to a risk of serious bodily injury.  Bruno is a person who maliciously threatened, with intent, to compel a juvenile to do an act against his/her will. Bruno committed the crime of kidnapping by knowingly restrained the juveniles and placed them in fear of bodily injury.” 

According to the Vermont State Police, Bruno was being held Saturday at the Marble Valley Regional Correctional Facility for lack of $20,000 bail.

A member of the Devil’s Bowl Speedway management team who asked to remain unidentified said track officials had no statement to make concerning the incident as of Sunday morning.


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Comments

  1. Could be a matter of Bruno catching the kids robbing or damaging the property. A lot of what ifs here. One has a right to protect themselves and there property. He could sue or counter sue the parents even. If nobody was hurt I could see him getting off in a trial if it even gets that far. Two sides to every charges. Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

    Thank you Mr Bruno for providing us another off season of legal woes to debate.

  2. JD,
    Definitely a lot of questions here. Reached out to track management and they did not want to comment. One does have a right to defend themselves or protect their property, though I would say that if it was a case of the arrested individual “defending” himself with a firearm because of a deadly threat that would have been released by the Vermont State Police. And also, protecting your property is one thing, but forcing someone to do something and holding them against their will with the threat of a firearm goes far beyond “protecting your property”.

  3. About the three juveniles… were they arrested? Any charges to the three juveniles? Were the three juveniles armed?

    Shawn, I’m seeing conflicting reports of the time. Was it ~11:30 AM or PM?

    Sure would suck to see yet another track impacted by the behavior of the owner.

  4. Darealgoodfella,
    No public announcement of any arrests of juveniles involved. No mention of arrest or citations of juveniles involved in the press release. No mention in the press release of juveniles being armed or threatening the arrested party.
    Here’s the time listed by the Vermont State Police in the press release: DATE/TIME: 11/30/19 at approximately 1128 hours.
    Click the link in the story to view the press release distributed by the Vermont State Police.

  5. Bill Realist says

    In Vermont by law you have a duty to retreat before defending your life or property with deadly force even if it’s in your own home or business. There is no so called stand your ground. Ultra liberal state where criminals have more rights and come before law abiding citizens. Signed a former lifelong native Vermonter.

  6. These are the charges: Aggravated assault [2 Counts], Aggravated disorderly conduct, Unlawful restraint in the first degree, Kidnapping & Extortion

    This is gonna get interesting.

  7. Good reporting Shawn. Sounds like the authorities are being very vague with details. Hope more information comes out in the coming days.

  8. Hold onto your nacho’s race fans. This just got real interesting.

  9. OK, I’ll bite. Wouldn’t he need a vehicle title to go to auction? If so, how is he selling cars with no title? Just curious. It sounds like there is a lot going on up there with this guy.

  10. JD,
    The comment you’re referring to has been removed. The latest story from WCAX in Vt spells out a little more details that came out of court today. Apparently involved kids blowing donuts in the parking lot. Based on prosecutor explanation, arrested party allegedly followed kids off the property, pursued them aggressively on the road, stopped them and threatened them with a weapon and tried to force them back to the track.
    It didn’t sound like the defense offered much more explanation than saying there were holes in the story from the kids about what happened when he stopped them on the road.

    Racetrack owner accused of holding trespassing teens at gunpoint

  11. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Watch that video from WCAX and listen carefully… Bruno’s lawyer presented that there was a roadside altercation, which means that Bruno pursued the kids and somehow got their car to pull over. That is illegal, for a private citizen to give chase, pursue and force another car to stop. And Bruno’s lawyer presented that this happened. Trying to explain it as blown out of proportion admits that something happened.

    🤣🤣🤣🤣

    Another track owner giving racing a bad name.

  12. Yikes, just a bad deal all around. A guy that isn’t remotely any kind of evil doer just making a horrendous decision.. They have to level every possible charge at him going in but in the end no one is going to really want to hold the guys feet to the fire for this. Jail time? Symbolic only. if any Probation…extensive. Public service…huge. Civil action from the teens families….likely.
    Contrition will play a huge roll in how this plays out.

  13. Hillary 2020 says

    Great, we got Dalawyer and Doug the attorney.

  14. All this over a few kids doing donuts in the snow in an empty parking lot on a day off from school? Wow! Maybe this guy does need anger management. I completely disagree Doug. The state will prosecute if that is what happened. It just takes one aggressive DA to really want to hammer him. If there was a gun involved he better hope it was registered. Innocent until proven guilty though. We can’t forget that.

  15. Vermont does not require permits to purchase and has no firearms registration. Both open carry and concealed carry are legal without a permit in Vermont. Any person 16 or older (although federal law requires the age to be 18) who can legally possess a firearm is allowed to carry openly or concealed.

  16. I can’t believe that Vermont would allow a 16 year old to carry open or concealed carry without a permit. I am 100% pro second amendment however they are a minor for god sakes.

    And then you don’t have the right to stand your ground against a criminal who is looking to do you harm?

    Oh well as the saying goes I would rather be tried by 9 then carried by 6.

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