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Former Pittsfield Officer Sentenced for Stealing From Police Union

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Pittsfield Police officer sentenced on Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to stealing more than $200,000 the Pittsfield Patrol Police Union.

Jeffrey D. Coco, 44, former union president, will serve up to 20 months in the House of Correction.

Coco was fired in November 2015 after some two months on administrative leave after an internal affairs investigation uncovered numerous improprieties with the union's accounts and fundraisers.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of larceny, ongoing and continuing offense, and a single count of identity theft in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday.

Judge John Agostini sentenced him to concurrent 20-month sentences for the larcenies and three years' probation on the identity theft. During the probationary period, Coco is to refrain from using illegal drugs and undergo counseling and drug testing. He will begin serving his sentence on April 3, 2017.    

Coco serving in various offices, including treasurer, of the union between January 2008 and July 2015. During that time, he generated a false document requesting access to certain funds.

The investigation was conducted State Police Detectives assigned to the district attorney's office with the assistance of members of the Pittsfield Police Department.      

     

Taconic High Student Arrested After Handgun Found in Backpack

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Taconic High School student is facing a raft of charges after allegedly shooting a man in the hand on Monday.

The student left school grounds without permission at noontime and later was arrested by police at the high school after being found with a handgun in his possession.

School officials released a statement to parents saying the unidentified juvenile was involved in a gun-related incident off-campus and that a search found a handgun in his backpack.

According to police, dispatch received a call reporting a disturbance at a residence on Danforth Avenue and a second call reported reported gunfire. Responding units encountered an adult man with a gunshot wound to his hand.  

The suspect was believed to be the student and an officer stationed at Taconic confirmed that the student had been present at school earlier in the day, before leaving without authorization. While law enforcement investigators were working with school staff, the student returned the school and was taken into custody.

The juvenile is facing charges of possession of a firearm without a Firearms Identification Card; possession of ammunition without an FID; discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a building; assault & battery with a dangerous weapon (to wit handgun); armed robbery (firearm); carrying a firearm on school grounds; and attempted escape from a municipal lockup.

He will be arraigned Tuesday, March 21, in Central Berkshire Juvenile Court.

The school district sent the following message to parents Monday afternoon.

"During second lunch today, a Taconic High School student left school grounds and allegedly was involved in a gun altercation with a member of the community. The student returned to school approximately 30 minutes later. The Pittsfield Police Department informed us of this incident including the name of student who may be in possession of a weapon.  

"A short time later we conducted our hold passing and the student was placed in custody by the Pittsfield Police. While in custody a handgun was found in the student's backpack. The student was immediately removed from the school. I would like to thank the Pittsfield Police Department and the members of the community as well as our faculty and staff who acted swiftly with the best interests and safety of our students in mind."

The name and age of the juvenile was not released.
 

6:58 p.m.; Write-thru with update from Pittsfield Police Department.

     

Pittsfield Police Seeking Man Considered 'Armed and Dangerous'

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are looking to arrest a 25-year-old man for assault following an incident early Saturday morning.
 
Police released few details of the incident but said they are looking for Garrett Vil, also known as Garrett Johnson and Jersey, regarding the incident. Vil is believed to be armed and dangerous and anyone with information about him is asked to immediately call 911 or the Police Department at 413-448-9700.
 
Vil is wanted on a number of charges and police say they have a warrant for his arrest. He is described as standing 5-feet-6 and weighing 200 pounds.
     

Pittsfield Police Officer Cleared in Shooting

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield Police officer who discharged his weapon in the course of his duties, injuring the suspect in a motor vehicle pursuit, has been cleared of any charges.

An investigation led by state police Sgt. Edward Culver, a member of the State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office, concluded that no criminal charges are warranted against Officer Martin Streit.

Streit fired three shots from his service weapon after Mark A. Marauszwski, 55, drove his vehicle at the officer, according to police.

A release from Berkshire District Attorney David F. Capeless' office state that on the morning of Jan. 25, Streit and other Pittsfield officers were involved in a motor vehicle pursuit of Marauszwski, who drove his vehicle into the parking lot and playground at Springside Park. As Marauszwski attempted to drive out of the playground, he drove at Streit, who was out of his patrol car on foot. After repeatedly ordering Marauszwski to stop, Streit fired three shots from his service weapon. Two shots hit the vehicle's windshield, the third shattered the front passenger window. Marauszwski suffered wounds to his hand, forearm and shoulder.

After reviewing the investigatory report, witness statements and the evidence gathered in the case, Culver had concluded that no criminal charges were warranted.

Because criminal charges are pending against Marauszwski as a result of the incident, Capeless stated that it would be inappropriate for him to comment further.

Culver was assisted by other members of the Detective Unit, and state police's Crime Scene Services and Firearms Identification sections, forensic scientists from the State Police Crime Lab as well as the Berkshire County sheriff's office. The Pittsfield Police Department cooperated with and assisted the investigation.

     

Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 31 - Feb. 2

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
 
Eric Moore, 31, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent five to eight years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his Dewey Avenue home on July 17, 2015.
 
Single counts of armed career felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and improper storage of a firearm were dismissed by the state.
 
Brooklynne Schneider, 22, of Stephentown, N.Y. pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and possession of cocaine in connection to a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on February 26, 2014.
 
She also pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws in connection to a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on July 23, 2015.
 
She was ordered to serve concurrent 560 days at the Hampden County House of Correction-Chicopee Woman's Facility on the possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy charges. She was given a one-day sentence on the possession of cocaine charge.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday,  Feb. 1.
 
David Taylor, 23, of Adams pleaded guilty to a single count of armed assault with intent to rob a person 60 years of age or older.
 
He was ordered to serve two and a half to four years with the recommendation that he serve the time at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Taylor attempted to rob a 67-year-old woman at Quadland's Flowers and Gifts in North Adams on June 21, 2016. 
 
Brian O'Neil, 28, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on four counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and single counts of trafficking in fentanyl, trafficking in heroin, trafficking in oxymorphone, trafficking in cocaine, and possession of psilocybin.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his home on December 14, 2016.
 
Joseph Stone, 38, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of assault with intent to commit rape.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. The incident allegedly occurred on October 23, 2016 in Pittsfield and involved a 41-year-old woman.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday,  Feb. 2.
 
Bryce Ciepiela, 19, of Hinsdale pleaded guilty to a single count of reckless endangerment of a child.
 
He was ordered to serve six months of a one-year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction and placed on 18 months probation.
 
Ciepiela knew of injuries to a 2-month-old baby but failed to get help in Hinsdale on December 31, 2015. 
 
Heath Delratez, 41, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of manslaughter by negligence and caretaker abuse of a disabled person.
 
He was released on personal recognizance. Delratez is accused of failing to take adequate care of his brother, Lee Delratez, who died in North Adams on January 18, 2015 at the age of 40.
 
Jessica Kemp, 27, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of manslaughter by negligence and caretaker abuse of a disabled person.
 
She was released on personal recognizance. Kemp is accused of failing to take adequate care of a family member, Lee Delratez, who died in North Adams on January 18, 2015 at the age of 40. 
     
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