Crime and Justice

Mass. man in legal ‘pickle’ after striking AOT worker

A Massachusetts man is heading to court after allegedly throwing a “large pickle” out of a moving car that struck an Agency of Transportation worker in Pownal.

Christoph Herrmannsdoerfer was charged with assault for throwing a pickle at an AOT worker. Facebook photo.

Christoph Herrmannsdoerfer was charged with simple assault after the pickle hit the AOT worker, 59-year-old Carl Hoffman of Danby, causing him “pain,” police said. 

The incident happened shortly before 6 p.m. Monday.

According to Vermont State Police, Herrmannsdoerfer, 34, of Williamstown, Massachusetts, was a passenger in a car traveling south on Route 7 when he allegedly threw an object “later determined to be a large pickle” at Hoffman.

An AOT supervisor provided a description of the assailant and the vehicle to police. 

Herrmannsdoerfer was found with the assistance of Williamstown Police. According to state police, he was issued a citation to appear in Bennington Superior criminal court on July 20.

Trooper Raymond Witkowski, who filed the report, said Hoffman was part of the Covid-19 crew monitoring traffic going in and out of Vermont when he “was minding his own business” and got hit in the back by an unknown object.

“It doesn’t sound like much of a big deal,” said Witkowski, a four-year veteran trooper. “But a pickle can be a relatively hard object. It’s not hard to imagine it would hurt.” He said the splattering also ruined Hoffman’s new shoes.

“I’m just happy it wasn’t a bottle or a piece of metal,” Witkowski said.

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According to New York State Police records, Herrmannsdoerfer was charged with DWI in 2019 in Rensselaer County. Police said at the time he was also driving with a suspended license from a previous DWI and was charged with operating a motor vehicle without an interlock device.

Court records show Herrmannsdoerfer was found guilty of DWI in Florida in November 2016 in Pinellas County. A month earlier, he was charged with resisting police “with violence” and battery on an officer. No disposition of those charges was available.

His Facebook page shows Herrmannsdoerfer was involved in a serious motorcycle crash approximately seven years ago in New Scotland, New York, where he broke five vertebrae in his neck, as well as had broken ribs, a broken leg and a shattered shoulder. He took a year to recover.

Herrmannsdoerfer describes himself on Facebook as “a gentleman who has found his path through tribulations while trying to guide others to light.”   

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Mark Johnson

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