Ryan Vernola mugshot

Ryan Vernola

An Laramie man threatened two other customers at the Gateway Fuels Shell gas station in Laramie with an ax July 6, prosecutors have alleged.

The man, 28-year-old Ryan Vernola, was charged earlier this month with two counts of felony aggravated assault, and one misdemeanor count of property destruction.

The case was bound over to district court last week.

Vernola had an ongoing dispute with a group of people in Laramie over a motorcycle purchase, he told officers. Vernola claimed that a group had intimidated and threatened him in the days leading up to the alleged crime, including two people in a green van or minivan.

Vernola was at the Gateway Shell station, at 2471 W. Jackson St. in Laramie, on July 6, when the two people in the same green van pulled up and confronted him, he claimed. Police said that surveillance video shows that the two people in the van were not trying to confront Vernola.

Vernola pulled an ax out of his car, swung it at the two people in the van and pushed one of them onto the ground. He also took the cell phone of the person he pushed to the ground.

After this incident, Vernola left the gas station and drove to a nearby laundromat, where he called police. He reported that the people in the green van, unidentified in the police report, had threatened him. Police interviewed clerks at the gas station where the incident occurred, who told them that Vernola did not appear to be defending himself, according to court records.

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