Pedestrian Pinned Under Pickup Truck at Third Thursday
Firefighters were able to extricate the victim from under the vehicle.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Third Thursday-goer was run over and pinned beneath a vendor's pickup truck on Thursday.
Police said the details of exactly what unfolded are still under investigation but 75-year-old Neil Atlas of Lenox was taken to Berkshire Medical Center with "serious but not life-threatening injuries."
The truck was driven by a juvenile, police said, who is not being named. The vehicle is registered to the Northeast Old Fashion Soda Co.
"The vehicle is a Third Thursday vendor vehicle. The vehicle was being used for the set up for one of the vendor displays. The business owner directed his assistant to move the truck to get it out of the way. We don't know what happened with the operator but a pedestrian was struck, the operator panicked a little bit," Police Chief Michael Wynn said.
Wynn said the soda vendor was hanging signs and then was moving the vehicle off the street. The truck was "rolling forward," according to police, when it struck Atlas.
The Fire Department arrived on the scene near the intersection of Depot Street, jacked the Ford F350 into the air, and removed the victim from underneath.
"Our officers stayed with them to keep them calm until the Fire Department got here and they did the extraction," Wynn said.
The chief did say the driver remained on scene, though some people at Third Thursday claimed otherwise.
"The driver did not flee," Wynn said.
The incident occurred around 5 p.m. as the city's first block party of the year was about to begin. It posed an issue in getting vehicles to and from the scene on North Street. However, it also provided for a quick response to secure the scene with extra police officers at the event.
"We had a foot patrol officer with no equipment who was here practically right away. But we had difficulty getting the fire vehicles and the rest of our equipment here," Wynn said.
The incident does shed light on an issue the Police Department has noticed in the past of the conflicts between vendors setting up with vehicles on North Street until the very last moment.
"It is fairly common for vehicles to be setting up — it is one of the issues we've identified. They keep setting up right until we do the road closure and then they move off the block as we do the road closure," Wynn said.
Third Thursday is in its 13th year as a summer-long monthly street fair. May is the first fair of the summer. The event continued on despite the incident.
Great Barrington Police Respond to Fatal Hunting Incident
Update at 6:30 p.m. with identification and quote:
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — A 44-year-old Pittsfield man was killed on Saturday during what police say was a hunting accident.
Christopher Puntin had been participating in a youth turkey hunt with two other adults and a juvenile.
According to Chief William Walsh, Police Officers Jonathan Finnerty and Kristopher Balestro, firefighter and EMTs responded about noon to a report of a hunting incident in a wooded area on Monument Valley Road and located the victim.
Puntin sustained a fatal gunshot wound and was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was injured.
An initial police investigation suggests the incident was an accident.
"This is a tragic situation for all involved," Chief William Walsh said. "I'd like to commend the efforts of all responders under the command of Sgt. Adam Carlotto and Sgt. Paul Storti on a very difficult call."
Walsh also praised the assistance police received Saturday from the Fire Department and the Southern Berkshire Ambulance Squad Saturday.
This incident remains under investigation by the Massachusetts Environmental Police and State Police detectives assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office and Great Barrington Police.
Pittsfield Man Charged in Fatal Pedestrian Accident
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man is facing charges related to a fatal pedestrian accident on Dalton Avenue on March 31.
Robert Johnson, 51, has been charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury/death accident, Pittsfield Police said in a release on Wednesday. Police said Johnson has been fully cooperative with the ongoing investigation.
Christopher Reynolds, 32, of Pittsfield was killed in the accident. Witnesses told police that a vehicle traveling eastbound struck Reynolds around 1:30 a.m., who was sitting down in the eastbound travel lane of Dalton Avenue, just east of Plastics Avenue, and continued traveling eastbound after impact.
Two Arrested After Manhunt
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The two men who led authorities on a manhunt on Tuesday are facing a number of charges.
Police say Arnold Chapman and Shannon Brown were arrested after leading police on a lengthy chase spanning from North Adams to Pittsfield. The incident started when the two allegedly attempted to return some $2,000 worth of stolen merchandise to the North Adams Walmart. They fled in a black pickup truck with Florida plates as North Adams Police were responding to the store.
The suspects fled shortly after 2:15 p.m. as police from North Adams, Adams, and Cheshire chased the vehicle. The drivers then cut over the Connector Road in Lanesborough to Route 7, where the Massachusetts State Police and Pittsfield Police joined the search to find the suspects.
The vehicle was abandoned on West Housatonic Street, in a parking lot across from the Lebanon Avenue intersection. The two men then got a taxi from there to the Enterprise car-rental service on East Street. A trooper responded there and Brown allegedly assaulted her, broke free, and ran toward Cove street, and then onto Root Place.
State and Pittsfield Police and deputies from the sheriff's department launched a wide-spanning manhunt for the suspects around the Elm Street and East Street areas. The search included K9 units and a police helicopter.
At about 4:30 p.m., officers found and arrested Brown on Root Place. Brown allegedly gave the name of "Alstin Guice" and had a Florida driver's license in that name but troopers were later able to identify him as Brown through fingerprinting.
The 33-year-old Brown, from Tampa, Fla., had $4,210 in cash on hand. He was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, providing a false name to police, and as a fugitive from justice.
Police also say Brown was the subject of a warrant in Phoenix, Ariz., for charges of fraudulent schemes, artifices, and theft. Authorities in Arizona intend to ask for his rendition to face those charges.
Chapman was later found in the same area suffering from hypothermia and shock after allegedly going into the Housatonic River while running from police. He was transported to Berkshire Medical Center and is still being treated as of Wednesday afternoon.
Pittsfield Police say the two suspects were involved in similar scams at the Walmart in Pittsfield, for $3,700, and in Hadley, for $2,600.
Chapman also had a warrant in the state of Florida on charges of fleeing law enforcement at a high rate of speed, habitual traffic offender, and leaving the scene of property damage. Locally he will be facing a single count of larceny by false pretense, over $1,200, and additional charges may be forthcoming.
The State Police brought in a helicopter to help search for the men.
Original Post: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 5:46 p.m.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A high-speed chase and manhunt throughout the county tied up local law enforcement for hours on Tuesday.
Pittsfield Police and State Police confirmed they were helping search for two men wanted by North Adams Police but opted to withhold comment until they had more information.
North Adams Police were still investigating the situation when asked for comment and said information may not be available for hours.
According to the scanner reports, however, state and local police were chasing two men in a black pickup truck with Florida plates southbound on Route 8 from North Adams shortly after 1 in the afternoon. The men reportedly fled after an incident from the Super Walmart in North Adams, although that could not be confirmed.
The men evaded authorities all the way to West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield, where they then ditched the truck.
The pair then allegedly caught a cab and went back to the center of Pittsfield. Officers tracked the suspects onto Root Place and a manhunt ensued throughout a large portion of the Elm Street area. The State Police brought in the airwing to search for the men and Pittsfield Police had a K9 unit.
The search continued throughout the day. Both men appear to have apprehended but authorities have not yet confirmed that fact.
Six-year-old Twins Among Those Who Died In Pittsfield Fire
The District Attorney's Office says Austin Grezlak, 25, a graduate of Taconic High School, and twins Kasper and Sylas Stone died when their home in Lake Onota Village burned.
Two others escaped the blaze that was started from either a candle or smoking materials in the master bedroom. The twins' mother, Krystal Parody, was injured trying to reach them and is being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital being treated for non-life threatening injuries and an older sister was able to escape.
"The Berkshire District Attorney's Office sends sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who died in this tragic incident," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
Authorities say at about 3:40 a.m. the home at 11 Lakewood Circle caught fire. Harrington said while the investigation of the fire remains open, it does not appear to be suspicious. The blaze destroyed the home and damaged a neighboring house.
Conducting the investigation into the incident are the Pittsfield Fire Department, the Pittsfield Police Department, members of the State Police assigned to the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and detectives from the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
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