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Former St. Albans cop pleads guilty to simple assault, sentenced to six months of probation

A stock photo close up of the blue lights atop a police cruiser.
Former St. Albans police officer Joel Daugreilh pleaded guilty to pepper spraying a handcuffed 18-year-old in 2017. Daugreilh was sentenced to six months of probation.

A former St. Albans police officer who pepper sprayed a handcuffed 18-year-old in a holding cell pleaded guilty to simple assault on Monday, the Attorney General’s office said in a press release.

Joel Daugreilh, 37, of St. Albans was sentenced to six months probation. If he follows the conditions of his probation, which include not contacting the victim and performing 40 hours of community service, the criminal case will be wiped from his record, according to the AG’s office.

More from Vermont Public: AG reopens investigation into St. Albans cop who allegedly pepper sprayed handcuffed man

According to a police affidavit, Daugreilh shoved a suspect’s head against the wall of a holding cell and deployed pepper spray into the suspect’s eyes at close range. The person was handcuffed and shackled to a bench at the time of the incident.

Daugreilh was one of three St. Albans cops who faced criminal charges for using excessive force in recent years. His case was the last to resolve.

In December, former officer Jason Lawton was sentenced to three months in prison for punching a handcuffed woman in a holding cell. The third former officer accused of using excessive force, Mark Schwartz, was acquitted by a jury in January, according to Seven Days.

More from Vermont Public: Former St. Albans cop will go to prison for punching a handcuffed woman

Former Attorney General TJ Donovan initially declined to charge Daugreilh for his use of force, which took place in 2017. But Donovan re-opened the case after Vermont Public filed a public records request seeking the AG’s investigation and video of the incident.

“'I think I might have gotten this wrong,” Dovovan said in 2020.

The AG’s office hired an independent expert who determined that Daugreilh’s use of force was unreasonable.

Video of the incident has never been released, though Donvoan promised to release it. The AG’s office has not yet responded to a public records request on Wednesday for the footage.

Other questions, comments or tips? Send me an email at

Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.
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