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Pittsfield Police Bringing Charges in 'G' Vandalism Case

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police believe they have nabbed the vandal who's been spray painting the letter "G" all over the city.

Lt. Gary Traversa reported on Monday that nine counts of vandalism will be filed against one George O'Neil, 38, of  Lincoln Street.

The department's been investigating the appearance of the mysterious "Gs" painted on numerous road signs, utility boxes, bridges, and both public and private buildings throughout the city since early September. It was not believed to be related in any way to gang activity and police were sure it was one person doing the tagging.

The majority of the vandalism had not been directly reported to the Police Department by property owners. But police, working those who did, and information provided by citizens "familiar with the suspect" led the pending criminal charges.

The reason for the Gs, other than a possible initial, is still unknown.

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Police Warn of 'Bail Money' Phone Scam

RICHMOND, Mass. — Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless says some Berkshire County residents are being victimized by a telephone scam.  

Over the past several days, the State Police Barracks in Lee has investigated several incidents in Richmond involving telephone fraud. In this scheme, the caller claims to be a relative, says they have been arrested and asks the person answering the call to send bail money. In many instances, the caller has accurate personal information about the person being called as well as information about the family member they are impersonating, information which is easily obtained on the internet.  

The victim is then asked to send cash, buy gift cards or iTune cards and to send them to a specific location so their loved one can be released from police custody.  

Police are urging anyone who receives a call of this type to be suspicious and to report any such call to the state police or local police department immediately. Investigators warn against sending cash or gift cards through the mail as this is a phone scam.

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Superior Court Briefs: Oct. 24 - Oct. 27

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, October 24.
 
Ronald Palazoo, 77, of Sandisfield, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape of a child with force, three counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14, and intimidation of a witness or other person.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent three to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. Palazzo sexually assaulted a boy, not age 6, in Sandisfield between September 3, 2012, and July 11, 2015.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 25.
 
Brian Signor, 27, a homeless man, entered a not guilty plea of manslaughter in connection with the death of Joseph Wirtes.
 
The alleged incident occurred at the YMCA in Pittsfield on September 18, 2016. Signor was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $250,000 bail.
 
Daniel Tatro, 55, of Savoy had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained age 14, and two counts of assault with intent to commit rape.
 
He was ordered to be held without bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The incidents allegedly occurred in North Adams on September 8, 2016, and September 14, 2016. The alleged victims are 19-year-old men.
 
Bruce Lee Trudeau, 39, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime, and assault and battery.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 bail. Trudeau is accused of breaking into a home in Pittsfield and assaulting a 27-year-old woman. The incidents allegedly occurred on June 26, 2016.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, October 27.
 
Matthew Daignault, 23, of Hinsdale had four counts of breaking and entering in the daytime, three counts of larceny from a building, two counts of larceny over $250, and a single count of larceny under $250 continued without a change of plea for three months.
 
The charges stem from a series of breaks at a home in Washington between July 25, 2015, and August 9, 2015.
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Pittsfield Police on Hunt for Mysterious 'G' Vandal

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Who or what is "G?"

An initial? A symbol for the number 7? An agent of the Men in Black? No one knows, but the random letter tag has been popping up around the city.

Police say the majority of the vandalism has not been directly reported, but the appearance of this graffiti on road signs, utility boxes, and both public and private buildings, has been noted by patrolling officers and members of the public for more than a month now.  

The investigation to date has not shown the graffiti to be associated with any known national or local gangs, and no one has provided video surveillance to the department.

The tagging appears to be random and perpetrated by one individual. The tags also aren't hard to find - it took only a few minutes to track down a G image for this article.

Police would really like to speak with the mysterious G, so anyone with information on the vandalism can contact the department through the "Report a Tip" link. 

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State Police Bomb Squad Deactivate Pressurized Bottles in Adams

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — The state police bomb squad was called to Airport Road on Thursday morning to investigate a cluster of pressurized bottles containing an unknown liquid.

Police Chief Richard Tarsa said police responded to the scene around 7:30 a.m. after a truck ran over one of the plastic bottles causing it to burst, making a loud sound.

Tarsa said the bottles were scattered in the road and contained some sort of chemical that caused them to pressurize, similar to a bottle of soda.

"We had a bottle that was pressurized and a vehicle drove over it and it erupted, which sounded like an explosion but was just the eruption of the device," the chief said. "It was not an explosive device. This is not an IED by any means. It's a sealed water bottle with a chemical in it that creates pressure."

Although there was no damage to the car or driver, Tarsa said the road was closed and Fire Department and the state police bomb squad were called to investigate.

There were three other bottles on the road. One was defective but the other two were live.

"The bomb squad came out and they used the robotic arm," he said. "It grabs the bottle and the arm is designed to depressurize the bottle by putting a hole in it and making it inactive."

The first bottle was successfully depressurized, however, the second had built up enough pressure that when the arm touched it, it burst.

Tarsa said the police are unsure who set the bottles and the incident is under investigation. He added that whoever placed the bottles set up an incredibly dangerous situation for themselves and those passing through the area.

"This is a stupid thing to do because whoever made these devices there was the ability for the bottles to go off in their hands and with chemicals, you are looking at chemical burns," Tarsa said. "And being in a roadway that is a place where a lot of people walk their dogs ... what happens if a dog latches on to it?"

Tarsa said the bottles were somewhat isolated on the rural road and in the end, everything was handled according to protocol, and there were no damages or injuries.

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News Headlines
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