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Fire Destroys Unit in Pittsfield Retirement Community
By Andy McKeever On: 12:28PM / Tuesday October 29, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A residential unit in Salisbury Estates was heavily damaged by a two-alarm fire on Tuesday morning.

Deputy Chief Michael Polidoro said the roof blaze, which could be clearly seen from nearby streets, was called in 10:34 a.m. by a neighbor reporting smoke from the unit at 8 Baver Drive.

"On arrival, we had heavy smoke pushing out of the eaves of the building, from both ends of the gable," said Polidoro. "In the crawlspace above, we found heavy fire."

The deputy chief called in a double alarm because the potential for the fire to spread rapidly through the attic crawlspace that connects the units.

"We kept it contained to that particular unit ...  It's all wide open up there so it could have traveled the whole length," he said. "I needed the manpower and the equipment here to do that."

Firefighters on the scene searched the home to ensure it was vacant; Polidoro believed that only one person lived in the residence and that he or she had left earlier in the morning.

He roughly estimated the fire damage at $150,000 but could not say if the structure would have to be completely razed.

"There is heavy structural damage to the roof, it has a trussed roof which makes it more susceptible to fire ...  they collapse a lot quicker and it makes it very dangerous," said Polidoro.

Because of the roof damage, a upper wall was being removed to allow firefighters access to the building. "It's too dangerous to work underneath it because of the fire damage," he said. "It presented a collapse issue so it's easier to take the wall off."

At least three other units sustained smoke damage. The building and wire inspectors, as well as the department's fire investigation unit were at the scene.

Polidoro said there was no indication the blaze was suspicious, but "when no one is home [when a fire starts] we like to do a thorough investigation to determine cause."

One firefighter incurred minor injuries in what the deputy chief described as "slips, trips and falls" that happen in these situations.

Salisbury Estates is a retirement community offering independent and assisted living for adults age 55 and older, operated as a subsidiary of Berkshire Health Systems with Kimball Farms.



     
Pittsfield Police Make Arrest In Late Night Stabbing
Staff Reports On: 12:41PM / Thursday October 24, 2013
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police arrested one man Thursday morning in connection to a late night stabbing that left another man in intensive care. But Police say another suspect has not yet been identified.
 
Police say 40-year-old Tony "Chris" Babcock of Second Street was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly stabbing a 28-year-old man. The victim is currently in the intensive care unit at the hospital and underwent emergency surgery.
 
Police are still searching for another man in connection with the attack after witnesses told Police that two men were involved in the Second Street attack.
 
The other suspect has not been identified and police are asking anyone with information related to the case to call the detective bureau at 413-448-9705.


     
Superior Court: Man Arraigned in North Adams Murder
Staff Reports On: 11:22AM / Wednesday October 23, 2013
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David Delratez at his rendition hearing in Bennington, Vt. He was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield on Wednesday for the murder of Ellen Depaoli.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The man accused of murdering 84-year-old Ellen Depaoli in North Adams is being held without bail after his case was moved to Berkshire Superior Court.

David Delratez entered not-guilty pleas on single counts of murder and larceny of a motor vehicle on Wednesday.

Delratez is accused of murdering Depaoli at her home on Walker Street in North Adams on September 17, 2013 and fleeing in her car.

He was taken into custody a few days later in Bennington for violating his probation from a previous charge.

Authorities then charged him with murder and larceny of a motor vehicle and he entered not guilty pleas to those charges at an arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court on Sept. 23.

The case is now moved to Berkshire Superior Court after a grand jury indicted him on Monday; he was arraigned again on Wednesday.

He again pleaded not guilty to the previous charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor and malicious destruction of property in connection with an incident in Clarksburg on Sept. 13, 2013 — the charges he was originally taken into custody on because it violated his probation.

Also from that Sept. 13 incident, he was charged and pleaded not guilty to a single count of use of a motor vehicle without authority.

According to police documents presented at the first arraignment, Delratez was found after police tracked down Depaoli's car in Bennington. They found a knife in the car, which police say was used in the murder.

Delratez then allegedly told police that two other men committed the crime and forced him to take the car and drive them out of town. He then says he was scared and went to stay with a friend in Bennington, according to police documents.



     
Somerville Teen Can Post Bail In Otis Rape Case
Staff Reports On: 08:53PM / Friday August 30, 2013
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Updated Friday, September 6, 2013.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — One of three Somerville students accused of raping a teen with a broom in Otis has the right to post bail.

Central Berkshire District Court Judge Frederic Rutberg denied a petition on Friday calling for Galileo Mondol, 17,to be held without bail. Mondol is now being held on $100,000 cash or $1 million surety bail. If he posts bail, he is ordered not to have any contact either direct or indirect with any of the victims or witnesses, he be not able to attend Somerville High School and must abide by an 11 p.m. curfew.

Mondol has previously pleaded not guilty to three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, three counts of intimation of a witness, two counts of assault with intent to rape a child under 16 and single counts of aggravated rape of a child under 16 and indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained 14 years of age.

He is scheduled for a pre-trial conference in Southern Berkshire District Court in Great Barrington on Oct. 3

Mondol is accused of entering the cabin of freshman students at Camp Lenox in Otis and assaulting three male victims.


Updated Tuesday, September 3, 2013.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. - A Somerville High School student pled not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court Tuesday on allegations that he and two others raped younger students at Camp Lenox in Otis.

Galileo Mondol, 17, had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of intimidation of a witness, three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault with intent to rape a child under the age of 16 and single counts of aggravated rape of a child under the age of 16 and indecent assault and battery on a child who has attained 14 years of age.

Mondol was attending the camp as part of a school program for team-building activities for the fall sports teams. On Sunday August, 25, Mondol is accused of going into a cabin occupied by freshman students and sexually assaulting three youths. Mondol is one of three students facing charges; the other two are juveniles and their names have not been released.

Judge Philip Beattie ordered that he be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 cash or $1 million surety bail. Mondol is expected back in court on Friday for a dangerousness hearing.

According to the Boston Globe, prosecutors say the three varsity soccer players went into the cabin and raped one freshman with a broom. Two other students were able to fight off the attacks but were still sexually assaulted. However, Mondol's attorney, William Korman says the students tried to end the assaults.


PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three Somerville high school juniors have been arrested by state police in connection with a sexual assault in Otis over the weekend.

Galileo Mondol, 17, and two 16-year-old boys were arrested on Friday by state police assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office.

District Attorney David F. Capeless said the assault occurred at Camp Lenox, which the city of Somerville had rented as a facility for team-building for its fall sports teams at Somerville High School. The teens are reportedly members of the varsity soccer team.

The defendants allegedly entered a cabin occupied by freshman on Sunday, Aug. 25, and assaulted three victims.

Mondol is being charged with single counts of aggravated rape of a child under 16 and indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained 14 years of age; two counts of assault with intent to rape a child under 16 and three counts of each of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and intimidation of a witness.

He is being held on $100,000 cash or $1 million surety bail pending arraignment Tuesday in Central Berkshire District Court. Capeless said the juveniles, whose names are being withheld at this point because of their age, will be arraigned in Berkshire Juvenile Court on similar charges.

The investigation is being conducted by state police assigned to the Berkshire and Middlesex district attorneys office and the Somerville Police Department.

According to Boston.com, school officials were apprised of the incident on Tuesday and contacted police. School Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi told media at news conference in Somerville that 161 athletes and 19 adult supervisors were at the camp.

Pierantozzi, High School Headmaster John J. Oteri and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone, in a joint statement, thanked the Berkshire DA's office and state police for "their speed and diligence" in the investigation.

"We will continue to provide any resources and information the district attorney's office requires as this investigation continues. Right now we are focused on continuing to provide the support services to students, parents and our community needed for Somerville to come together and heal."

Capeless, in a statement, said the Somerville school authorities and coaches "acted quickly and appropriately when they became aware of these allegations" and he thanked Somerville Police and others for their cooperation and assistance.

Camp Lenox is privately run residential summer camp for boys and girls that offers sports, outdoors activities and arts. It's been in operation for more than 90 years. It rents the facility before and after the 8-week summer program.



     
Pittsfield Councilor Charged With Drug Violation
Staff Reports On: 02:59PM / Tuesday August 20, 2013
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Paul Capitanio

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A sitting city councilor is accused of alerting drug dealers to police raids.

According to the Berkshire Eagle, Paul Capitanio pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Tuesday to conspiracy to possess oxycodone and being an accessory after the fact. The paper reports that police accuse Capitanio of alerting dealers as a way to maintain an oxycodone habit.

The councilor's attorney, Timothy Shugrue, said his client denied the charges and that he had an oxycodone addiction.

Capitanio, who owns the East Side Cafe, has represented Ward 3 since being first elected in 2009; he is not standing for election this year.

The Eagle reports that Capitanio had been arrested by state police on Friday and is currently out on $500 bail.



     
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