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Two Arrested for Alleged Armed Home Invasion in Pittsfield


The K9 unit was called to search the neighborhood. 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two men have been arrested in relation to an armed home invasion on Pomeroy Avenue on Friday afternoon.
 
Ronald P. Sanford III, 27, of Pittsfield and Arthur J. McCowan, 29, from Springfield were taken into custody when police responded to call from the home's occupant saying two individuals armed with handguns were trying to gain access. 
 
The call came in at about 2:11 p.m.; when police arrived at the scene they observed the two men, matching the descriptions provided by the caller, outside the home. 
 
Sanford and McCowan were detained and searched for weapons. Although no handguns were found, McCowan was in possession of a folding knife, according to police. While other officers detained the suspects, investigating Officer Brandon Gallagher interviewed witnesses. As a result of Gallagher's investigation, both Sanford and McCowan were arrested and charged with numerous offenses. 
 
The charges include unarmed robbery, assault with a dangerous weapon (handgun), threat to commit crime (murder), and possession of a Class C drug (clonazepam) with intent to distribute. Sanford and McCowan are both being held on $10,000 bail. They will be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday morning.
 
On Friday evening, while still in police custody, Sanford was transported to Berkshire Medical Center by Officers for medical reasons. He became aggressive and assaultive and as a result of his actions at the hospital, he was charged with four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot and chair), one count of assault with a dangerous weapon (police radio), and one count of assault and battery on a police officer. 
 
The injuries to officers as a result of Sanford's actions were not serious.
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Authorities Still Searching for Adams Shooter

Staff Reports
ADAMS, Mass. — Authorities are still on the hunt for suspects in Wednesday's shooting that sent a local man to the hospital.
 
Investigators believe the shooting at North Summer Street was an isolated incident and not a random act and that neighbors in the area are not in any immediate danger.
 
The victim's name is still not being released but he remains hospitalized at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he underwent surgery for gunshot wounds. 
 
Police are a looking for a light-skinned African-American man with facial hair who witnesses said fled the scene on foot. 
 
The vague account led to the highly dramatic stop of a man with no involvement in the case not long after police arrived at the scene. 
 
Police Chief Richard Tarsa on Friday said a man matching the description given by witnesses, including the wearing the similar clothing and colors, was seen driving by as police were searching the area around the 30 North Summer St. neighborhood on Wednesday. He was stopped after exiting the Racing Mart gas station on Columbia Street.
 
"The officers effected a motor vehicle stop, which is considered a high-risk stop because of the nature of the situation," Tarsa said. "We had a shooting and fleeing the scene, so a high-risk stop was conducted according to their training."
 
The man was removed from his car and handcuffed in the middle of Columbia Street at the intersection with Cook Street. Photos of the stop were posted on social media showing the man on his knees with his hands in the air but appear to have since been removed. 
 
"The individual was removed from their car, handcuffed for his own protection and placed in a cruiser, which gave the officers time to determine if they were involved," Tarsa said. "In this situation, the operator of the vehicle, who was alone, was found not to be involved so he was told what was going on and why he was stopped and the officers apologized for the inconvenience."
 
The police chief pushed back on allegations that the stop was a case of racial profiling. Rather, it was the circumstances of looking for a likely armed suspect and seeing a person who generally matched the description, he said. 
 
"As soon as they determined he was not involved, he was allowed to leave and, unfortunately, because of the situation you have to conduct the stop accordingly," he said. "Here it was a high risk so they had to order the operator out at gunpoint and they handled it accordingly. 
 
"By no means was it a racial issue."
 
Tarsa said incident is still under investigation and "we are following several leads."
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Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 23 - Jan. 25

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, January 23.
 
Brian Aherne, 40, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to a single count of larceny by embezzlement.
 
The charge was continued without a finding for one year. Aherne took approximately $5,000 from the estate of Corrine Wise between October 1, 2010 and October 31, 2012.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, January 26.
 
Brett Logan, 35, and Karisa Miranda-Ruiz, 35, both of North Adams were found not guilty of a single count of reckless endangerment of a child.
 
Logan and Miranda-Ruiz were accused of knowing that an 11-month-old child was being abused and did not report it between September 1, 2014 and October 5, 2014.
 
Timothy Herring, 35, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine.
 
He was ordered to serve 18 months at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession of heroin charge. He was given concurrent time of the other.
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Lanesborough on March 19, 2016.
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Adams Police Investigating Shooting That Injured One

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
Update at 9:07 p.m.: Authorities are still not revealing the identity of the Adams man who was shot Wednesday afternoon but say he is expected to survive. 
 
There is no indication that the shooter has been arrested. Adams Police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the shooting or have other information to contact the station at 413-743-1212.
 
According a statement from the district attorney's office late Wednesday, police recieved a call of shots fired on North Summer Street at 3:45 p.m. and found a man suffering from gunshot wounds at 30 North Summer. 
 
He was taken taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he underwent surgery. He remains hospitalized. The man's name, age and any relationship he may have had with the shooter are not being divulged at this time.
 
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Adams and North Adams police departments, the Berkshire County sheriff's office, state troopers assigned to the district attorney's office, members of the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force and the State Police Crime Scene Services and Ballistics Sections and chemists assigned to the Crime Lab.

Police tape cordons off an apartment on North Summer Street where the shooting occurred. 

Original post at 5:36 p.m.:

ADAMS, Mass. — Police are investigating a shooting on North Summer Street that occurred around 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday. 

Police Chief Richard Tarsa declined to provide detailed information at this point other than to confirm that someone was shot at 30 North Summer St. He said more information would be available later. 
 
"There was a report of a shooting and officers were detailed and are actively investigating it and someone was transported to BMC with injuries," Tarsa said at the scene. "It's still early in the investigation and we don't want to compromise anything."
 
The large apartment building at 28-30 North Summer has police tape across the front stairs to 30 North Summer. The building, which has a number of units in it, is located at the corner of North Summer and Jordan street. 
 
Both state police and Adams Police cruisers were parked in front of the building. According to reports on social media, several ambulances had initially responded to the scene. Neighbors were cautioned to stay in their homes. 
 
Police also had stopped and taken a person into custody in a dramatic encounter sometime after 4 p.m. in the middle of Columbia Street, at the intersection of Cook Street. He reportedly has been released and it is not clear he had anything to do with the shooting. 
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Steele-Knudslien Arraigned on Murder Charge in Superior Court

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man accused of killing his wife was arraigned Monday morning in Berkshire Superior Court on a murder charge. 
 
Mark S. Steele-Knudslien, 47, entered a plea of not guilty of one charge of murder in connection with the death of his wife, 42-year-old Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien.
 
Steele-Knudslien allegedly beat his wife with a hammer and stabbed her on the evening of Jan. 5 in their Veazie Street home in North Adams. Police say they discovered her body, wrapped up in the basement, after her husband entered the Adams Police Station hours later to report the crime.
 
Judge John Agostini ordered Steele-Knudslien continued to be held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Steele-Knudslien had previously entered a not-guilty plea in Northern Berkshire District Court on Jan. 8.
 
The couple had apparently lived in Adams and, before that, the Springfield area before moving to North Adams last March. They were married in April 2017.
 
The investigation is being conducted by state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office, members of the North Adams and Adams police departments and the Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section.
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