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Man Rescued After Getting Stuck in Lanesborough Cave

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Firefighters freed a man stuck upside down in a cave off Silver Street on Saturday night.
 
Fire Chief Charlie Durfee said the local man had slipped on wet rocks at about 9:15 p.m. while checking out a cave behind 96 Silver St. and fell head first into the cave opening. Durfee said the man was attending a birthday party when he and a friend took a walk to look at the caves.
 
He was stuck there for about two hours while the Western Mass Technical Rescue Team worked to free him.
 
"He was probably in the hole for about two hours," Durfee said.
 
More than a dozen local firefighters who serve on the technical rescue team was joined by another dozen from the Lanesborough Volunteer Fire Department on the call.
 
Durfee said he also received assistance from Dalton Fire Chief Gerald Cahalan and Pittsfield Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski. Durfee added that another one of the partygoers is a paramedic in another town and kept the man calm as they waited for first responders to arrive.
 
"It was tedious getting to where he was," he said. "It was a great team effort."
 
Durfee said freeing the man proved to be tricky because rescuers couldn't simply lift him out. But eventually, using a number of ropes, harnesses, and other tools, the man was freed and taken by County Ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. He suffered only a laceration on the back of his head.
 
"These guys are highly trained in tactical rescues," Durfee said.
 
There are some 58 caves in Lanesborough and about half of them are located in the Silver Street area. But this the only cave rescue Durfee can remember.
 
"We've never had a cave rescue in the 37 years I've been on the department," he said. 
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Superior Court Briefs: June 18

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Monday, June 18.
 
Peter Meadow, 53, of Lenox admitted the facts of his case were sufficient to find him guilty on single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery on a disabled person, and caretaker abuse on a disabled person.
 
His case was ordered to be continued without a finding for one year. Meadow assaulted a student between December 1, 2015 and December 31, 2015 while working at Eagleton School.
 
Michael Crump, 41, of Canaan, Conn. pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.
 
He was ordered to serve two to three years at the Massachusetts  Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the possession of heroin charge and given 10 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the other.  The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Great Barrington on June 1, 2016.
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Charge of Leaving the Scene Dropped in Fatal Adams Incident

Staff Reports
ADAMS, Mass. — A charge of leaving the scene of fatal accident lodged against a local businessman has been dropped.
 
Instead, David I. Sookey Jr. had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf on Monday in Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield for a single count of misleading, impeding and obstructing a police investigation.
 
Sookey, 61, allegedly ran over 85-year-old Theresa Marby on Feb. 16 when he exited his parking spot next to the Oasis Liquor Store on Dean Street. He told police at the time that he did not see Marby and thought he'd hit a pothole before leaving the area. Police allege that he provided misleading information related to his knowledge about the events of that day.
 
The single count of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, death resulting, which he was arraigned on in February, will be dismissed in Northern Berkshire District Court in the near future, according to the district attorney's office. 
 
Sookey appeared before Judge Mark Mason on Monday and was released on $10,000 bail.
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Superior Court Briefs: June 12 - June 13

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Tuesday, June 12.
 
Lemond Grady, 36, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of unarmed robbery and assault and battery on a person age 60 or older.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,000 cash or $10,000 surety bail. Grady is accused of taking money from the Pizza House on Tyler Street in Pittsfield on March 28, 2018 and assaulting the 63-year-old employee working there.
 
Luis Valle, 34, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed robbery while masked and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon. 
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $25,000 bail. Valle is accused of robbing the clerk at the Gulf Station on Wahconah Street in Pittsfield on February 17, 2018.
 
Danielle Hoisington, 37, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on her behalf on a single count of unarmed robbery.
 
She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Woman's Facility on $50 bail. She is currently being held without bail on other criminal matters.
 
Hoisington is accused of taking money from the Pizza House on Tyler Street in Pittsfield on March 28, 2018.
 
Cases heard before Judge Mark Mason on Wednesday, June 13.
 
Melyza Rojas, 25, of Springfield had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
She was ordered to be held at the Hampden County House of Correction Chicopee Woman's Facility on $6,5000 bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant in Williamstown on March 14, 2018.
 
James Yeaman, 64, of Lee admitted the facts of his case were sufficient to find him guilty on two counts of intimidation of a witness and a single count of accessory after the fact to wit: assault and battery on a disabled person.
 
The charges were continued without a finding for one year, he was ordered to perform 20 hours of community service work and pay $500 in court fees.
 
The incidents occurred while Yeaman was employed by Eagleton School between June 26, 2013 and December 31, 2015.
 
Philip Baruch Jr., 24, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and improper storage of a large capacity firearm.
 
He was released on $500 cash or $5,000 surety bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant on March 15, 2018.
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Two Men Arrested In Connection To Shooting In Pittsfield

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two men were arrested after a shooting on Elm Street.
 
Police say Trevor Pemble and Marchenne Hanson were each charged with single counts of assault and battery by discharging a firearm and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling. Hanson is also being charged with a single count of unlicensed possession of a firearm.
 
Police responded to the area of 70 Elm Street Friday at about 6 p.m. after a ShotSpotter notification. At the same time, dispatch received a number of calls from the neighborhood reporting a shooting.
 
At the scene, two men were discovered to have sustained gunshot wounds. Officers rendered aid to the men and they were transported to Berkshire Medical Center.
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