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North Adams Police Make Arrests in 2 Stabbing Incidents

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The city has seen two stabbings within one week and police have made arrests in both cases. 
 
The first occured on Monday, July 10, when a man was stabbed near the former Price Chopper parking lot on State Road at about 11:45 p.m.  Police reported that the victim appeared to have puncture wounds to his abdomen. He identified his attacker as Jamie Garcia, who had run into the woods toward Massachusetts Avenue. 
 
State Trooper Matt Baird and his K9, Caber, responded to a request for assistance in the search. Caber was able to quickly locate and apprehend Garcia, who was hiding in thick overgrowth just off the railroad tracks on Mass Ave.
 
He was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, a knife, and was held on $8,500 bail. The victim was reported in good condition.
 
The second incident occurred on Friday, July 14, at approximately 11:30 p.m., when a pizza delivery person was stabbed multiple times, reportedly in an attempted robbery. 
 
The victim, Charles Sauer of North Adams, was located in his vehicle in the area of 394 Union St. with wounds to his chest and abdomen. Sauer was delivering pizza for Dominos at the time the incident occurred. He was able to identify his assailant as Travis Perras of North Adams while being assisted by first responding officers.
 
Sauer was transported to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, where his condition was initially listed as critical. However the last update received, his condition has improved to stable condition.
 
Perras was located in a residence not far from the crime scene and taken into custody a short time later. He is charged with armed assault with intent to murder, armed robbery while masked, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Perras is now being held at the Berkshire County House of Corrections on $75,000 cash bail.
 
The information on these cases was not released until July 16 until the the investigation was completed, said police, so as not to compromise evidence gathering.
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Pittsfield Man Drowns At Vermont Marina

Staff Reports
CHARLOTTE, Vt. — A Pittsfield, Mass. man apparently drowned Saturday at the Point Bay Marina.
 
Vermont State Police said the body of David Clement, 64, of Pittsfield, Mass. was found some 30 feet from shore, where his boat was idling near the docks. Police say Clement was returning to his slip at the marina when he fell into the water and drowned. Police responded to the scene after a report that his boat was abandoned near the docks.
 
Police say the investigation remains open is asking for anyone with information or was in contact with Clement that day to contact Vermont State Police.
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Superior Court Briefs: July 10 - July 12

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, July 10.
 
George Bliss Jr., 31, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to five counts of armed robbery in connection with a series of robberies in Pittsfield between January 7, 2016 and January 24, 2016.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.
 
A single count of armed robbery was dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, July 11.
 
Derrick Saunders Jr., 22, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of a loaded firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, and possession of counterfeit notes.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half to three years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the illegal possession of a large capacity feeding device and illegal possession of a firearm. He was given concurrent time on the possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card and possession of counterfeit notes. The illegal possession of a firearm charge was placed on file.
 
The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in Pittsfield on December 12, 2016.
 
Bryan Raney, 30, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained age 14.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The incidents allegedly occurred in Pittsfield on May 5, 2017 and the alleged victim is a 28-year-old woman.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, July 12.
 
Brian Ducksworth, 26, of Hartford, Conn. pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws in connection with the execution of a search warrant on Jackson Street in North Adams on December 15, 2015.
 
He pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws in relation to the execution of a search warrant on West Shaft Road in North Adams on July 26, 2016.
 
Ducksworth was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the 2016 charges and placed on probation for two years on the others.
 
Amanda Swift, 23, of Plymouth pleaded guilty to single counts of attempted arson of a dwelling house and burning personal property.
 
The charges were continued without a finding. Swift attempted to set fire to Barton's Crossing in Pittsfield on April 18, 2016.
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Pittsfield Police Officer Facing Charges for Off-Duty Incident

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield Police officer was arraigned Wednesday for charges stemming from an off-duty incident that occurred on July 4, 2016.

Officer Michael McHugh, 42, an 18-year veteran of the department,had not-guilty please entered on his behalf on single counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, assault and battery, misleading a police officer or other person, and being a public employee making a false report.

He is accused of assaulting a 54-year-old man in Pittsfield on Indendence Day last year. It is also alleged that he generated a false report about the assault on July 6, 2016.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department.

Superior Court Judge John Agostini released McHugh on personal recognizance on the condition that he have no contact with the alleged victim.

McHugh has been under investigation by Internal Affairs since August 2016 because allegations related to the above incident.

Subsequently, the investigation was reassigned to the Detective Bureau to conduct a criminal investigation. The criminal investigation resulted in the charges for which McHugh has been arraigned. The Internal Affairs investigation has been referred to the Appointing Authority under Civil Service requirements.

McHugh, who joined the force in 1999, remains on paid administrative leave, pending the outcome of the required Civil Service processes.

"Whenever the Pittsfield Police Department becomes aware of alleged misconduct by any of our members, we take those allegations very seriously. Complete and thorough investigations are conducted and when warranted, referrals are made to the appropriate criminal justice partners. Service as a police officer requires a high degree of public trust, and police officers, justifiably, are held to a higher standard," said Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn.

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Homeless Man Arrested in North Adams Tire Slashings

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police arrested a homeless man who is suspected of slashing and popping at least 20 vehicle tires throughout the downtown.
 
Lt. Jason Wood said Henry Vasquez, was arrested Friday after the police identified him using video surveillance from a local business. 
 
"One of the local business had video surveillance of him and one of our detectives were able to identify him," he said. "Ten minutes later the officer was headed down to State Street to take a complaint of a slashed tire and lo and behold, there he was walking up the road."
 
Wood said the bulk of the slashings took place Thursday, July 6, between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight throughout the downtown.
 
"At least 20 cars, but we are still getting complaints," he said. "It was downtown, this parking lot, the Center Street lot and Marshall Street. It was basically the downtown area."  
 
Wood said Vasquez faces multiple charges of malicious destruction of property.
 
If there are any other vehicles that were affected and have not been reported, victims are asked to call the North Adams Police Department. 
 
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