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Authorities Make Arrest in Adams Structure Fire Incident

Staff Reports

Authorities detour traffic at the mall entrance in Lanesborough as they take the suspect into custody. 
The Adams Police Department has released more information on Tuesday's fire and suspect chase.
 
According to a statement released on Wednesday morning,"Based on the information provided to police from witnesses along with family and friends there was concern that the fire had been intentionally set, and that firearms had been stolen from the home."
 
The suspect in the incident then fled to Pittsfield where he was involved in a "domestic situation" that resulted in a lockdown of city schools and a countywide "be on the look out," or BOLO, for himself and the red Subaru he was driving. 
 
He was sighted by a Lenox Police officer about 3:15 p.m. but when the officer attempted to stop him, he fled with the officer in pursuit. The suspect was finally arrested in Lanesborough near the northern Berkshire Mall entrance "after a brief stand-off with police."
 
The incident is still under investigation by multiple agencies and he is currently being held pending arraignment in district court.
 
The release by the Adams Police Department states it "would like to thank its officers, and the other agencies involved in the investigation of this incident."

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The East Road home was in flames when firefighters arrived.

Original post on 4:31 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23: ADAMS, Mass. — Officials are investigating a structure fire on East Road on Tuesday afternoon that destroyed a single-family home. 

 
Authorities declined to provide more information but the scene was cordoned off as a crime scene and police were on the lookout for an individual who had reportedly fled the area in a red Subaru, according to scanner reports. 
 
"It is an open investigation and we have a long way to go," said Adams Police Detective Michael Wandrei.
 
The suspect was arrested at about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday — about two hours after the fire was reported — after leading police on a chase that ended near the Berkshire Mall. 
 
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said the call came in at 1:21 p.m. and that there was significant smoke and fire when firefighters arrived at 151 East Road. 
 
"What we were advised that there was smoke coming from the house and someone was trying to get the dog out," he said. "When I arrived they had heavy smoke across the whole attic area of the house and fire venting out the roof."
 
Mutual aid was called into Cheshire and North Adams fire departments and Clarksburg Fire Department covered the station. Adams Ambulance Service and Northern Berkshire EMS also responded. 
 
"The guys got in there and we got it knocked it down," he said. "The guys did a great job."
 
Pansecchi said the owners were not in the house at the time of the fire and that when firefighters arrived, they found the dog tied outside and safe. 
 
The fire chief alluded to the fact the fire began when no one was home as the reason for an investigation. That was being done, he said, by state fire marshal's office, himself and Adams Police. 
 
According to an individual with knowledge of the afternoon's events, the suspect is related to the home's owners. The house is owned by Jerome Cross, according to town documents. 
 
Pittsfield Police posted on Facebook that they were looking for Courtney Cross, 34, last seen operating a red 2017 Subaru WRX at 2 p.m. on North Street and who was wanted by Adams Police. "Witness information is that Cross is in possession of firearms," states the post, adding that no one should approach him but instead call 911. It was not clear from listening to the scanner if Cross had any firearms.
 
The fire marshal's office was "extremely interested in the clothing" the suspect was wearing, one scanner post stated. Officers were told over the scanner to ensure that the clothing of the individual stopped and arrested that afternoon was properly cited as evidence.
 
Pansecchi was awaiting the arrival of investigators from the state fire marshal's office and expected to be on the scene for some time. The owners of the home had made arrangements to stay elsewhere, he said, and did not require aid from the Red Cross. 
 
The road was closed off for several hours.
 
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. ... 
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Two-Vehicle Crash on Mass Ave Injures Four

Staff Reports
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A Tuesday morning two-car accident sent four to Berkshire Medical Center North's emergency satellite facility with only minor injuries.
 
Police responded to the accident around 9 a.m. near Church Hill on Massachusetts Avenue, near Blackinton Church. 
 
A gray Nissan Rogue eastbound toward the city center was sideswiped by a red Toyota Venza sedan traveling west, according to police.
 
This portion of the heavily traveled street is often narrowed by vehicles parked along the side of the road.
 
An officer conducting preliminary accident reconstruction said the Toyota appears to have left its lane of travel and that the Nissan, after being sideswiped by the Toyota, dug its driver's side tire into the edge of the road, turning the vehicle over.
 
It came to rest on Blackinton Manor's front lawn but people in the area were able to flip the car over before the police, ambulance, and fire trucks arrived.
 
The three passengers in the Nissan were transported to the emergency facility along with the single driver in the Toyota.
 
Police reported that none of the injuries appeared to be serious. The road in this section was briefly closed to traffic until the scene could be cleared. The vehicles were removed by Dean's Towing and Mohawk Auto. 
 
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North Adams Police Arrest Suspect in Armed Robberies

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police have arrested a suspect in two armed robberies that occurred overnight Saturday and Sunday.
 
The first robbery occurred about 9 p.m. on Saturday when Dave's Package Store at the corner of River and Canal streets set off a hold up alarm. 
 
Dispatch was able to verify upon calling the business that the clerk was held up by an individual who was brandishing a knife. The person fled the area before officers arrived. 
 
However, the suspect was able to be identified by officers from the security footage. Officers checked known locations of where the individual stays but could not locate the suspect.
 
Then Sunday morning at approximately 4:40 a.m., a second armed robbery occurred at Dunkin' Donuts by the same method. In that case, an individual made off with a sum of money from one of the registers after going behind the counter and brandishing a knife toward the clerk. Again, the suspect fled the area but the description given led officers to believe the two incidents were connected by the same individual.
 
An officer who had remained in the area of Dunkin' Donuts observed the suspect walking in the Union Street area just before 7 a.m. This was the same person who was identified at first robbery. The suspect began to flee from the officer immediately. A foot chase then ensued that led from Union Street to the River Street area.
 
The office caught up with the suspect on River Street but the individual resisted arrest. Backup officers arrived shortly after, at which time the suspect was taken into custody. The initiating officer and the suspect were both injured during the arrest.
 
The officer and suspect were both treated and released at Berkshire Medical Center's North Adams campus. The suspect will remain in custody at the North Adams Police Department on $7,540 cash bail until being brought to Northern Berkshire District Court on Monday morning.
 
The name of the individual is being withheld at this point to prevent "public shaming," according to the post by Police Chief Jason Wood.
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North Adams Man Killed, 2 Injured in Route 8 Crash


Route 8 was closed for some time on Sunday morning after a
three-vehicle collision near Farnams Road. 
Update: Anthony Emard, 61, of North Adams has been identified as the fatality in Sunday morning's three-vehicle crash on Route 8. 
 
According to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, the other two individuals involved in the accident are 29-year-old Trever Field and 37-year-old Michael Taylor, both of Adams. 
 
Field was driving the Jeep Grand Cherokee that state police said tried to pass a Mustang, driven by Taylor. As Emard's Hyundai approached in the northbound lane, Field pulled back into his southbound lane and hit the rear bumper of the Mustang, say authorities, that caused it to spin out.
 
The Hyundai was struck by one of the vehicles and rolled over. The crash is still under investigation. 

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Original post 12:48 p.m., Oct. 20, 2019; CHESHIRE, Mass. — A North Adams man was killed early Sunday morning in collision involving three vehicles on Route 8 near Farnams Road. 

 
The 61-year-old victim was driving a 2009 Hyundai Accent north at about 7:11 a.m. when it rolled over after being hit by the other two vehicles. He was pronounced dead at the scene and the other two drivers were taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield with "serious injuries."
 
According to state troopers from the Cheshire barracks, a preliminary investigation has revealed that a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee, driven by a 29-year-old man from Adams, was southbound behind a 1997 Ford Mustang, driven by a 37-year-old man, also from Adams. 
 
The driver of the Jeep began passing the Mustang at the same time the Hyundai was approaching in the northbound lane. The Jeep apparently tried to pull back into the southbound lane but struck the Mustang, which then caused both vehicles to strike the Hyundai, causing it to rollover.
 
The remaining facts and circumstances remain under investigation by state police, including the Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire County District Attorney's Office. Troop B Headquarters and the Crime Scene Services Section and Collision Analysis Reconstruction Section team, Cheshire Fire Department, Pittsfield Fire Department, Lanesborough Police and Fire Departments, and the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, all assisted on scene.
 
No further information is currently available.
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Authorities Release Details of Alleged Assault at Simon's Rock

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The details of an alleged assault at Bard College at Simon's Rock more than two weeks ago have been released by the authorities, and several aspects of the account aren't adding up.
 
The victim, an unidentified student of color, has said they were assaulted on a trail on the college campus and dragged into the nearby woods. This allegedly occurred on Friday, Sept. 27, and the campus safety office was alerted at 2 p.m. that day. The student was taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center, treated for minor injuries and released. 
 
The investigation into the reported assault continues, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, but the DA and Great Barrington Police have provided more details "given the unease that the complaint has caused for the community, particularly for Simon's Rock students and faculty."
 
According to authorities, the student reported being rendered unconscious and being dragged about 75 yards into the woods along a wooden path with dirt and mud but neither the student nor the any of the student's clothing had any dirt or debris. 
 
• The student reported later waking with cuts through the student's clothing, resulting in cuts to the student's torso. The superficial wounds on the student's torso did not align with the cuts on the student's clothing.
 
• There also were no defensive wounds on the complainant and records provided thus far do not provide a medical reason for unconsciousness.
 
• Investigators conducted three interviews of the student and no description of the alleged assailant was provided to investigators during any of the interviews.
 
• No surveillance footage of the area is available and none of the witnesses in the area at the time reported seeing any other potentially involved parties in the vicinity.
 
Investigators from the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, in collaboration with Great Barrington Police, conducted numerous interviews, searched the grounds, searched electronics, and sent items to the State Police Crime Lab for forensic testing.
 
Investigators are looking into all aspects of the case, from the nature of the original complaint to potential motivations behind the alleged assault. The investigation remains ongoing by law enforcement and forensic testing has yet to be finalized.
 
A significant amount of resources have been devoted to the complaint. The investigation involves multiple law enforcement agencies including Great Barrington Police, Simon's Rock Campus Safety, the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, the State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and forensic scientists assigned to the State Police Crime Lab. The U.S. Attorney's Office has been notified because of the potential racial motives for the alleged attack.
 
Anyone with additional information that can aid in the investigation is asked to contact Great Barrington Police at 413-528-0306.
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