Vermont man charged in shooting previously accused of harassment in NY

Vermont man charged in shooting previously accused of harassment in NY

The Vermont man charged in Saturday’s shooting of three Palestinian college students was previously accused of harassing an ex-girlfriend in New York in 2019.

A police report showed Jason J. Eaton‘s ex-girlfriend contacted police in Dewitt, an eastern suburb of Syracuse, claiming that she was being harassed and that Eaton would not stop sending her sexual text messages and calling her on the phone.

She expressed a reluctance to press charges but also detailed in her complaint that Eaton allegedly showed up to her home unannounced twice, including one instance when she was talking with the police, according to the report.

No charges were ever filed in connection with the complaint, and police said that after talking with Eaton, he explained that he was under the impression the woman had still wanted to see him. He promised to cease contact moving forward.

The 48-year-old is now being held without bail on attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting and seriously wounding three Palestinian students as they were out walking near the University of Vermont campus last weekend in Burlington.

Hisham Awartani, Kinnan Abdalhamid and Tahseen Ali Ahmad, all 20 years old, were injured in the attack, which took place over their Thanksgiving break and is now being investigated as a potential hate crime.

The students had been talking in a mix of English and Arabic when they were shot, and that two of them were also wearing black-and-white Palestinian keffiyeh scarves, according to authorities.

Eaton recently relocated to the town from the Syracuse area, and that his name appeared on 37 Syracuse police reports spanning 2007 to 2021, but never as a suspect, according to police spokesperson Lt. Matthew Malinowski.

He pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges of attempted murder, but was ordered by a judge to remain in jail without bond.

With News Wire Services

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