The Vermont State Police on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, cited Trooper Robert Zink, 39, of Arlington on suspicion of simple assault following a six-week investigation into a use-of-force incident that occurred during an arrest Feb. 23, 2021, in the driveway of a private residence on Tinkham Road in Shaftsbury. Zink has been on paid relief from his duty assignment at the Shaftsbury Barracks since February 24, 2021. His status as of Wednesday, April 7, is unpaid relief from duty.
The investigation began following an internally generated report from a trooper who raised concerns about the use of force. Zink is accused of striking Christopher Campbell, 41, of Shaftsbury while Campbell was in handcuffs on the ground. Campbell was actively resisting arrest at the time, but the strikes do not appear to be in response to Campbell’s actions. The use of force occurred during an incident in which Campbell had driven off the road near his home, was suspected of drunken driving, and became actively combative with multiple troopers who attempted to take him into custody (Case No. 21B300491).
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. The case’s lead investigator was assigned from the Williston Barracks to avoid any potential conflicts of interest in pursuing the matter.
Zink was cited through his attorney earlier today on suspicion of simple assault and ordered to appear for arraignment at 8:15 a.m. Monday, April 12, 2021, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Bennington.
Zink was hired in 2008 and assigned as a trooper at the Shaftsbury Barracks following his graduation from the Vermont Police Academy. He became a detective trooper with the Narcotics Investigation Unit in 2012, then returned as a senior trooper at the Shaftsbury Barracks in 2013.
He was assigned as a detective trooper in Shaftsbury in 2014, then promoted to sergeant/patrol commander two years later. In August 2019 he was assigned to the Rutland Barracks and his rank returned to trooper. He transferred to the Shaftsbury Barracks in December 2020.
The Vermont State Police is unable to comment further at this time. The affidavit of probable cause will be filed with the court and made public following Zink’s arraignment. Members of the media should call the Court Clerk’s Office prior to arraignment to confirm details of the hearing.
COURT ACTION: Y
COURT DATE: 8:15 a.m. Monday, April 12, 2021
COURT: Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, in Bennington
MUG SHOT: Not available
VERMONT STATE POLICE
TROOPER: Detective Sgt. Jacob Metayer
STATION: VSP BCI Troop A-West Williston
INCIDENT DATE/TIME: 3:45 p.m. Feb. 23, 2021
LOCATION: Tinkham Road, Shaftsbury, Vermont
VIOLATION: Simple assault
ACCUSED: Robert Zink
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Arlington, Vermont
VICTIM: Christopher Campbell
CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Shaftsbury, Vermont