Man who assaulted officers with tractor receives 16 years

— The parolee accused of trying ramming a police cruiser with a tractor has been found guilty of assault of a police officer.

Kip R. Banker, 45, of AuSable, submitted a guilty plea on Jan. 14 to three counts of assault and one count of second-degree criminal mischief. Banker was sentenced to 16 years in prison and five years of post release supervision.

“We are extremely pleased with the sentence, in light of Mr. Banker’s history of violence, especially against law enforcement,” Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Evanovich said in a press release. “It was a miracle that no one was seriously injured or killed that day.”

Banker was arrested on April 18, 2012, after he rammed a cruiser occupied by parole officers off the road and nearly off an embankment with one officer stuck inside. Banker continued, pinning another officer against a tree, and when pulling away almost ran over a third officer.

At sentencing on Jan. 14, Judge McGill spoke at length of Banker’s long criminal history, including a prior assault conviction which involved the assault of a police officer after an extended car chase.

During the April incident, a parole officer was making a routine visit Banker’s residence when Banker fled into the woods after a possible violation was discovered.

Banker was later spotted around 1:30 p.m. driving a Ford farm tractor on Allen Hill Road and officers attempted to stop him. Banker continued west on a dirt road and intentionally rammed a vehicle that was occupied by three parole officers.

The officers got out of their vehicle and Banker intentionally struck one parole officer and attempted to strike another. Officers fired an undisclosed number of rounds at Banker, but he was not struck. Banker drove away and fled on foot into a wooded area near his residence. An organized search was conducted by State Troopers, Clinton County Sheriff's deputies, State Police K9, and State Police aviation. Banker was apprehended later that afternoon without incident.

One parole officer was transported to CVPH in Plattsburgh where he was treated for a bruised thigh and later released.

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