By Lisa Redmond
AYER -- A 36-year-old military veteran, suffering from mental-health and medical issues, was placed on probation for a year for assaulting a stranger in a wheelchair.
In Ayer District Court on Wednesday, Ryan Vause, 36, of 11 Auman St., Devens, admitted to sufficient facts to charges of assault and battery on a disabled person, disorderly conduct, walking on a railroad track and disturbing the peace.
Judge Barbara Pearson agreed to continue the case without a finding for one year while he is on probation. While on probation, Vause is to continue with counseling, mental-health treatment, stay away and have no contact with the victims, and remain drug and alcohol free with testing.
Prosecutor Laura Miller explained that on July 8, Ayer police responded to Depot Square for a report of a man yelling, screaming and pushing people. Police learned that Vause hit in the head a stranger in a wheelchair, then fled down the railroad tracks. Police found Vause hiding behind a tree. The victim was not seriously injured.
Vause had no criminal record. Defense attorney Christopher Reardon said Vause had been discharged from the military in 2004 with mental-health issues and has been battling an alcohol-abuse problem.
Vause has entered a treatment program and receives medication, Reardon said.
Pearson told Vause that as conditions of his probation, he is continue with his treatment, consume no drugs or alcohol and stay away from the victims.
Follow Lisa Redmond at www.twitter.com/lredmond13.