NEWPORT CITY – Mark Shaw Jr., the man known on the Howard Stern Show as Bigfoot, appeared in Orleans County District Tuesday for a competency hearing.
Shaw recently underwent an inpatient psychiatric examination that found him incompetent. He is being held at the Fletcher Allen Healthcare Center on $50,000 bail. Shaw faces charges of attempted first degree arson, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Court records state that Maria Stricker from the Community Rehabilitation Program reported that Shaw threatened to burn a building down. Acting on a warrant for immediate examination from the Vermont Department of Health, police went to Shaw’s Second Street apartment. When police knocked on the door, Shaw became agitated.
He became even more upset when Chief Seth DiSanto announced himself. Shaw started making threats, including, “You want a **** war, I’ll give ya one,” DiSanto reported.
Sgt. Travis Bingham of the Newport City Police attempted to open the door to Shaw’s apartment with an entry tool. After several strikes, the door opened a few inches and Shaw shoved a sword through the opening, nearly striking DiSanto.
Police said Shaw screamed violently and ignored police orders to drop the sword. Police said Shaw barricaded his apartment door from the inside.
Shaw had threatened to set his apartment on fire if the police tried to enter. Police then smelled and saw smoke. DiSanto attempted to control the sword while Newport City Police Officer Aaron Lefebvre attempted to open the door. Once police had the door opened wide enough, they found Shaw trying to fight for control of the sword.
Two probes from Bingham’s taser hit Shaw, whose nickname reflects his size. Shaw sat on the floor and attempted to remove the probes. He also grabbed a chair that he held in front of him and was still fighting police for control of the sword. Shaw continued to ignore DiSanto’s order to comply with police. Lefebvre again deployed his taser on Shaw, giving police the opportunity to take the sword and chair away from him. Police finally were able to take Shaw into custody. Even then, Shaw continued to yell and scream loudly while police were in his apartment.
The Newport City Fire Department responded to the building because Shaw’s unit as well as others were filled with smoke. A telephone book was on fire inside the apartment.
The Newport Ambulance Service transported Shaw to North Country Hospital. Later, Orleans County Sheriff’s Department deputies took Shaw to Fletcher Allen Medical Center in Burlington.