A federal police officer accused of aiming a loaded gun at a passing car during a road rage incident Wednesday on Interstate 95 said she was accused falsely because of her job.

Demitria Buhalis, 41, a police officer at the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont, is charged with aggravated criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, a class C felony, after allegedly aiming a handgun at two men as she passed their car in the southbound lanes in Sidney. Buhalis is free on $5,000 unsecured bail.

Buhalis, of Brownsville, Vt., declined to be interviewed by phone but wrote a series of private Facebook messages to the Kennebec Journal saying she is innocent of the charge. Buhalis wrote that the two men in the other car threatened her and then accused her of pointing a gun at them because she is a police officer.

Police have not released the names of the men, described only as 35-year-old from China and a 31-year-old from Fairfield.

“The two individuals tried to run me off the road and saw my police decal,” Buhalis said. “A thin blue line sticker on a car indicates it belongs to a police officer.”

Naaman Horn, a spokesman for the Vermont VA hospital, confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Buhalis is employed there.


Both Horn and Buhalis declined to offer any specifics about Buhalis’ employment status at the hospital.

“We take the safety of veterans, employees and the public very seriously,” Horn said. “We are cooperating fully with local law enforcement during this investigation.”

Horn also would not discuss specifics of the disciplinary process, but did say there will be an internal review and that officials will monitor Buhalis’ court proceedings.

“If an employee is found to behave in a manner that is not consistent with our commitment to professionalism and safety, we take appropriate and immediate action,” Horn said.

On Wednesday, Maine State Police Lt. Aaron Hayden said a man driving south on I-95 in Sidney called police just before noon to report that a woman who passed him in the left lane pointed a handgun at him and another man in his car as they neared mile 117 in Sidney.

“The weapon was pointed directly at them as the vehicle drove by,” Hayden said during a news conference in Augusta.


Maine State Police Trooper Christopher Rogers said the alleged threat was a culmination of a protracted road rage incident, which included passing and tailgating, that began in the Fairfield area about 15 miles to the north.

The caller followed Buhalis’ black Honda Accord at a distance until Rogers spotted the car in the southbound lane near mile 105. Rogers continued to follow the car without his lights activated until other officers arrived to assist with the traffic stop. That stop took place near the Interstate 295 toll plaza in West Gardiner.

Rogers said Buhalis pulled over once he activated the lights on his cruiser and was arrested without incident.

“As soon as the lights came on, she pulled over and followed all of my commands,” said Rogers, who was assisted in the arrest by State Police Sgt. Patrick Hood and Cpl. Steve Hills.

The two men in the other car stopped in West Gardiner and gave statements to police, Hayden said.

Police found in Buhalis’ car a loaded, black Sig Sauer handgun that matched the gun described by the two men in the other car.


The gun was found under the passenger’s seat within reach of the driver, Hayden said. Police said they also found a second loaded handgun in the car.

Buhalis said she is an Air Force Security Forces veteran. A former staff sergeant who was discharged honorably, Buhalis said she has worked in law enforcement for 14 years. She said evidence in the case is circumstantial.

“Reporters have destroyed the reputation of a military veteran and a career officer with a clean record based on statements by two individuals of questionable character who followed me and harassed me,” Buhalis wrote to the Kennebec Journal. “I was off duty, just trying to drive home to go to work.”

If convicted, Buhalis faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Buhalis, who is originally from Maine, has a second address in the Piscataquis County town of Brownville and has relatives in Maine.

Hayden wouldn’t say specifically what sparked the alleged threat or whether Buhalis has admitted pointing the gun at the men.


“There was an altercation between the two vehicles,” he said. “There wasn’t a collision or anything like that. It just ended up being a road rage incident.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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