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Superior Court Briefs: Sept. 30 - Oct. 6

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, September 30.
 
Aaron Tarjick, 40, of Windsor pleaded guilty to 25 counts of larceny over $250, 13 counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime, nine counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, seven counts of unarmed burglary, three counts of larceny of a firearm, two counts of larceny under $250, and a single count of larceny of a motor vehicle.
 
The charges stem from a series of housebreaks in Berkshire County between October 22, 2010 and November 13, 2012.
 
He was ordered to serve 15 to 17 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the breaking and entering and burglary charges. He was given concurrent time on the firearm and larceny charges.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 4.
 
Jay Strezynski, 26, of Lee pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: distribution of marijuana. 
 
He was ordered to serve six months at the Berkshire County House of Correction, suspended for one-year. Strezynski conspired with others to sell marijuana on January 25, 2016.
 
Kayla Malloy, 29, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
The charges were in connection with a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on June 27, 2016. She was released on $250 bail. 
 
Ishmael Lytle, 27, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of assault and battery on a disabled person, and caretaker abuse on a disabled person.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Lytle is accused of assaulting a student while he worked at Eagleton School on February 20, 2013.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, October 6.
 
Dante Spratling, 31, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and possession of a Class C substance.
 
He was released on $500 cash bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at a Daniels Avenue apartment on August 9, 2016.
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Dalton Man Killed in Cheshire Crash


Robert Pearson graduated from McCann Technical School in 2015.
He is seen here with his mother in this image posted on a youcaring.com
page set up to help his family defray expenses.

 

CHESHIRE, Mass. — A Dalton teen was killed early Friday morning in a single-car accident on Fred Mason Road that injured four others.

Robert Pearson, 19, a passenger in the vehicle, was transported by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where he was pronounced deceased.

According to state police from the Cheshire Barracks, the crash occurred at about 12:52 a.m.

Preliminary investigation by Trooper Timothy Cooper indicates that a 2009 Nissan Altima operated by a 19-year-old Adams man was traveling south on Fred Mason Road when, for reasons still under investigation, it veered off the west side of the road. The Altima, which had a total of five occupants, collided with trees and rolled over onto its roof.

Two other passengers, a 22-year-old North Adams man and a 30-year-old North Adams man, suffered serious injuries and were transported to Berkshire Medical Center. The operator and another passenger, a 19-year-old woman from North Adams, suffered minor injuries and were transported to BMC as well.


Fred Mason Road was closed for five hours because of the accident.

The crash remains under investigation by Troop B with assistance from the state police Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Section, Crime Scene Services Section and Detective Unit for Berkshire County. Also aiding at the scene were Cheshire Police, the Cheshire Fire Department, and the Adams Ambulance, North Adams Ambulance, and County Ambulance companies.

Both lanes of Fred Mason Road were closed for five hours to accommodate the rescue response and crash investigation. No further information is being released at this time.

A youcaring.com page has been set up to help the family defray the impending expenses.

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One Man Injured In Pittsfield Structure Fire

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One many was taken to Berkshire Medical Center for burns following a structure fire on West Street Wednesday night.
 
Around 8:30 a passerby coming from Berkshire Community College noticed the flames and reported that there was somebody inside the house at the time. When firefighters arrived, they found a fully involved structure fire but, luckily, the man inside the building had already gotten out. 
 
"When we got dispatched it was reported as a house fully involved with people inside, which gets your heat rate up right away because you feel like you are going to have to do a very difficult rescue. On arrival, it was relieving to find the only occupant already outside the house and he said nobody else was in the house. So now it is property we are worried about and not lives we have to save," Deputy Chief Andrew Stephenson said.
 
The man was reportedly the only person in the home at the time and was taken to the hospital with what appeared to be second-degree burns on his hands and first-degree burns on his feet.
 
"He actually denied any injuries but he had visible burns. Any burns on your hands or feet are considered serious burns," Stephenson said. 
 
Neither the injured man nor Stephenson knows exactly how it started, but an investigation is ongoing to figure that out. 
 
"The house structurally is completely sound. But it has very heavy smoke damage and fire damage throughout. The contents are fairly well destroyed on the first floor," Stephenson said.
 
He added, "there is a lot of heat damage on the inside. There is a lot of fire damage in the first room, inside the window from the porch. From there, there is a lot of heat damage going up the stairs and to adjoining rooms."
 
Firefighters had made fairly quick work in knocking down a lot of fire centered mostly on the porch and in the room just inside. 
 
"When I arrived the fire was fully involved on the porch and I could tell the front room just inside from the porch was already on fire. It took us a minute to get a hose line out and the fire had already gotten into the house," Stephenson said.
 
"We knocked down the fire in probably about 15 to 20 minutes. It took about a half an hour to go in and control the fire completely."
 
Stephenson said overall combating the blaze went smooth and there was plenty of access to water. During the blaze, a portion of West Street was closed - from Churchill Street to the college. One lane was eventually reopened to allow those at the college to leave the area.
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Small portion of Fred Mason Road Closed After Minor Car Accident

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — A minor accident involving a tractor trailer truck and a car closed a portion of Fred Mason Road on Tuesday.
 
Cheshire Fire Department, Police Department and Ambulance responded to a car accident around 5 p.m. Tuesday evening when a Toyota RAV 4 collided with a parked tractor trailer truck.
 
"The truck pulled over for directions, he was going to make a phone call because he wasn’t sure where he was going," Police Officer Mike Alibozek said. "He said a hand full of cars passed him and then he was hit."
 
Alibozek said the driver looked down and was unable to stop before she could see the truck. 
 
There were no injuries.
 
"She went to get checked out. She had couple of abrasions on her chest from the seat belt but other than that she was fine," he said. 
 
The front of the car was substantially damaged and the back of the tank connected to the truck was leaking.
 
Initially this brought immediate concerns, however, the truck was only transporting pool water.
 
"It was just pool water, which is fortunate," Alibozek said. 
 
The road was closed from where it connects with Route 8 to where it turns onto Reservoir Road. 
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Nationwide Creepy Clown Hoax Comes To The Berkshires

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The nationwide spree of reported sightings of menacing clowns has reached the Berkshires.
 
For months police departments across the country have been fielding calls reporting clowns making threats, chasing people, or luring children - most of which have been hoaxes. The reports have caused disruptions in schools, even prompting school closures and lockdowns on college campuses. 
 
On Monday, Pittsfield Police received two calls reporting such instances. According to scanner reports, the first call claimed a clown was chasing a person on Tyler Street. Later, a second call reported clowns on Wahconah Street, possibly with weapons. 
 
On Tuesday, Police said one of those calls was determined to be unfounded while officers were unable to locate the alleged clown in the other. 
 
"We're monitoring the situation locally and nationally, but don’t have anything further to provide at this time," Chief Michael Wynn wrote in an e-mail.
 
There were also rumors of sightings in other Berkshire towns Monday night as well, including North Adams and Adams. A dispatcher in Adams said there were no clown sightings, and that whatever alleged sightings have been circulating are just rumors. 
 
An outbreak of such reports are nothing new and seemingly arise in various parts of the country every few years - the most recent rash of such reports in 2014.
 
In August of this year, a growing number of reports were being made, which fueled hysteria in many cities and towns and leading to many copycat callers. That trend has picked up steam and in September, found its way to Massachusetts.
 
In Greenfield on Sept. 17 police fielded a report of a man in a clown costume "lurking" at the Franklin County Fairground, according to the Greenfield Recorder. Also on Monday, a dormitory at Merrimack College was evacuated after a report on Twitter that an armed clown was inside, according to the Boston Globe. In both of those cases, authorities did not find any suspicious activity.
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