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Pittsfield Police Release Cause Of Fatal Crash at PHS
Staff Reports On: 11:10AM / Wednesday August 06, 2014
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The car was seen speeding through the intersection of Second and East Streets.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police say the driver of the car that slammed into the front of Pittsfield High School in January was high on PCP.
 
The January crash killed Tariq Sally, 34, and Ernest Duck Jr., 37.
 
The two were in a white 2013 Nassan Altima, owned by Hertz Corp., that was traveling more than 100 mph through the Second Street intersection when it slammed into the wall outside of the school. 
 
Police on Wednesday said toxicology showed the driver, Duck, was found to have phencyclidine (PCP) and marijuana in his system. PCP is commonly mixed with marijuana and has hallucinogenic properties. 
 
Duck reportedly had 270 nanograms per milliliter in his system, police say, and studies from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that patients with half that dosage have shown psychotic behavior — such as mania, depression and schizophrenia.
 
"Based upon all available evidence, it is apparent that the cause of the crash is the fact that Mr. Duck Jr. was under the influence of PCP and was not able to safely operate a motor vehicle," according to the police report.
 
Police have also ruled out that the vehicle itself was defective. Police say the vehicle was being actively steered and was negotiated through traffic as it approached East Street. The vehicle's airbag control recorded no diagnostic trouble codes for any component of the throttle or braking system. The vehicle accelerated for the five seconds leading to the crash with only some last second braking, police said.
 
Duck was not wearing a seat belt at the time; Salley was.
 
Witnesses also attested that the vehicle was not being chased, despite multiple rumors following the crash that they were.
 
The crash not only triggered a massive response from the police and fire departments but also fueled an array of rumors as to what led to the crash. Police had suspicions then of the cause but hadn't released any information until this week, after medical examination reports were returned.
 
Because of a large influx of family and friends of the victims descending on the hospital at the time, Berkshire Medical Center implemented additional security measures, which fueled even more speculation.
 
Hospital officials at the time said some secondary doors were locked earlier than normal and the Berkshire County sheriff's department assisted hospital security in ensuring access during the "considerable influx" of people to the emergency room.


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Lanesborough Police Warn Of Home Breaks
Staff Reports On: 04:36PM / Tuesday August 05, 2014
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LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — Police are asking residents to report anything suspicious as they try to halt a rash of home break ins.
 
Police posted on Facebook Tuesday afternoon asking residents to call them at 443-4107 if they see anything suspicious.
 
"We expect most reports to be unfounded or explainable, however, if you observe someone or a vehicle that seems unusual or out of place, or a stranger is looking for directions or a lost pet, do not hesitate to call as soon as possible with whatever information you are able to gather. You are not being a bother or overreacting!" Police wrote.
 
"Helpful information could include the subjects physical description and clothing, vehicle description and plate number, and direction of travel. With smart phones so common, photos and video of the incident could prove invaluable."
 
Police say most of the break in occurred during the work day hours. The homes have most often been left unlocked.
 
"A very common statement from victims and neighbors is 'We never lock our doors.' So, please, make sure your homes and your vehicles are secured," Police wrote.


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Pittsfield Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Blaze on Daniels Ave.
Staff Reports On: 12:59PM / Tuesday August 05, 2014
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A condominium building on Daniels Avenue suffered extensive damage after a fire on Monday night.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A two-alarm fire on Daniels Avenue late Monday night ripped through three-story building and left two firefighters reeling from heat exhaustion.

According to the report by Deputy Chief Bruce Kilmer, firefighters responded with five engines and a ladder truck to the 133 Daniels Ave. about 10:37 p.m. There was heavy fire showing on the front of the wood-frame building near the corner of Madison Avenue.

"Upon our arrival, aggressive attack with landlines by first arriving crews slowed the fire," wrote Kilmer.

There was no one in the building during the fire but three families were displaced and being aided by the Red Cross with temporary housing.

Two firefighters were treated for heat exhaustion and dehydration, one at the scene and the other after being transported to Berkshire Medical Center.

The building is considered a major loss because of fire, smoke and water damage. It sustained severe structural damage to the first floor that extended into the second floor and partway into the third floor. The building was insured.

The structure contained condominium units developed by Central Berkshire Habitat for Humanity.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.



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Pittsfield Police Log: July 26 - August 4
Staff Reports On: 03:39PM / Monday August 04, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Here are copies of the police log from July 26 until Aug. 4.

Pittsfield Police Log 7-26-2014

 

Pittsfield Police Log 7-27-2014

 

 

Pittsfield Police Log 7-28-2014

 

 

Pittsfield Police Log 7-29-2014

 

 

Pittsfield Police Log 7-30-2014

 

 

Pittsfield Police Log 7-31-2014

 

 

Pittsfield Police Log 8-01-2014

 

 

Pittsfield Police Log 8-02-2014

 

 

Pittsfield Police Log 8-03-2014

 

 

Pittsfield Police Log 8-04-2014

 



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Superior Court Briefs: July 28 - July 31
Staff Reports On: 03:31PM / Monday August 04, 2014
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 28.
 
Nathaniel Reilly, 32, of Lee pleaded guilty to two counts of distribution of heroin and a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
 
He was ordered to serve two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Reilly sold heroin on January 21, 2014 and January 23, 2013 and was in possession of heroin with intent to sell when he was arrested on January 23, 2014.
 
Charles Crisp, 31, of Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of heroin.
 
He was ordered to serve seven months at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on February 21, 2014.
 
A single count of being present where heroin is kept was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 29.
 
Messiah Grandson, 22, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and misleading a police officer or other person.
 
He was ordered to serve two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the assault and battery charge and given a one-year sentence to be served after on the misleading a police officer.
 
Grandson assaulted a 42-year-old man in North Adams on June 15, 2013. A single count of armed assault with intent to murder was dismissed by the state.
 
Brittany Gresser, 23, of Pittsfield was found guilty on a single count of assault and battery. 
 
She was placed on probation for one year.
 
She was found not guilty on two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, on a single count of mayhem as well as an additional assault and battery.
 
The charges stem from a fight at the Back 9 Bar on March 16, 2013 and involved two women, ages 22 and 26.
 
Alicya Hubbard, 23, of Pittsfield was found guilty on a single count of assault and battery. 
 
She was placed on probation for one year.
 
She was found not guilty on two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, on a single count of mayhem as well as an additional assault and battery.
 
The charges stem from a fight at the Back 9 Bar on March 16, 2013 and involved two women, ages 22 and 26.
 
Shanay Jones, 35, of Pittsfield was found not guilty on two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault and battery.
 
Nathaniel Greene, 48, of Lee had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol - his fifth offense - and operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license as a habitual traffic offender.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without the right to bail. The charges stem from a single-vehicle crash in Lee on June 20, 2014.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 30.
 
Annette Matta, 25, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of heroin with intent to distribute.
 
She was sentenced to two and a half to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.
 
A single count of possession of phencyclidine was dismissed by the state.
 
The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at her home on September 4, 2013. 
 
Jonathan Delaney, 30, of Washington pleaded guilty to a single count of operating under the influence of alcohol, operating to endanger causing serious bodily injury.
 
He was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Two other charges were placed on file.
 
The charges stem from a two-vehicle accident in Dalton on November 23, 2013 that injured a 73-year-old woman.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, July 31.
 
Christopher Blair, 34, of Hillsdale, N.Y. pleaded guilty to single counts of unarmed robbery and larceny over $250.
 
He was ordered to serve two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the larceny charge and placed on one-year probation on the robbery charge.
 
Blair robbed the Stockbridge branch of Lee Bank on March 10, 2014.
 
Ariel Camacho, 28, of Manhattan, N.Y. pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws and single counts of trafficking in oxycodone, distribution of cocaine, possession of heroin, resisting arrest, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and furnishing a false name to a police officer.
 
He was sentenced to concurrent three to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the trafficking in oxycodone, distribution of cocaine and conspiracy charges. He was given concurrent time at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the others.
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on February 21, 2014.
 
Single counts of being present where heroin is kept, failure to stop for a police officer and unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle were dismissed by the state.
 
Grace Mary Stanley, 25, of North Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of oxycodone, possession of cocaine, being present where heroin is kept and possession of heroin.
 
She was ordered to serve concurrent 32-day sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on February 21, 2014.
 
Two additional counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws were dismissed by the state.


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News Headlines
Williamstown Students Celebrate Power of Words
Former Senator Bill Bradley Shares Insights at Williams
Cheshire Town Cleanup Deemed Success
North Adams License Commission OKs Transfer to V&V
Pittsfield Granted $4.5 Million To Finish North Street Reconstruction
Clarksburg Awarded $920K MassWorks Grant for Road
PEDA: Springfield Rail Car Contract Benefits Berkshires
Williams Chapin Library Seeking Volunteers
Berkshire Health Systems Investing $6M in North County
Colegrove Park School Project Toured
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State Police  
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