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Williston man arrested in connection with an armed robbery and an attempted sexual assault

Dana Cota. (Photo courtesy of Burlington Police Department)

Aug. 3, 2011

Dana Cota of Williston was arrested Tuesday in connection with an armed robbery in South Burlington and an attempted sexual assault in Burlington, both of which occurred on July 8.

According to a release from the Burlington Police Department, a Maplefields convenience store located at 1801 Williston Rd. was robbed at knifepoint at approximately 2:14 a.m. An estimated $225 in cash was taken in the robbery, and no injuries were reported. Approximately two hours later, a Burlington woman reported that a male suspect broke into her home and attempted to sexually assault her while threatening her with a knife. The woman was reportedly able to fend off the attacker, who then fled. The victim sustained an abrasion to her arm, but did not require medical attention.

Investigators from the Burlington and South Burlington police departments, working together with the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigation, identified 26-year-old Cota as a suspect in both incidents. He was arrested and arraigned on charges of Burglary, Assault & Robbery and Attempted Aggravated Sexual Assault in Vermont Superior Court on Tuesday. The next hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 8, until which Cota is being held without bail, according to Burlington Deputy Chief of Police Andi Higbee.

—Adam White