Police: Man clubs mom with rifle over stolen deer meat

Zachary Merriam, right, is accused of clubbing his mother with a rifle stock over stolen deer meat.

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Zachary Merriam, right, is accused of clubbing his mother with a rifle stock over stolen deer meat.

A Vermont man was charged over the weekend with assaulting his own mother for taking deer meat that belonged to him, police said.

Zachary C. Merriam, 21, of Pittsford, is charged with first-degree aggravated domestic assault, according to the Vermont State Police.

Police officials told the Rutland Herald that troopers spoke Saturday afternoon to Merriam's mother, who said her son had assaulted her that morning over the deer meat. The 40-year-old woman told investigators that Merriam chased her through the house with a 30-30 rifle.

The woman told police Merriam did not try to shoot her, but that he used the gun's stock as a club with which to beat her, the Herald reported. She said she did not know if the weapon was loaded, but was afraid it would fire by accident.

Bruises on the woman’s back were consistent with being hit with a rifle stock, police officials said.

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A witness in the house told investigators that Merriam and his mother had argued, and that Merriam threw a television remote control at her, the Herald reported. The witness said she did not see the assault, but heard the mother and son arguing upstairs.

The woman said Merriam’s mother came downstairs and said her son had hit her with his gun.

Merriam denied hitting his mother, but told troopers they were arguing because she had stolen from him. He said she also cut meat off a deer he shot.

Merriam was arrested on the assault charge and jailed. He was released from jail on $1,000 bail and ordered to stay away from his mother.

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