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Pittsfield Police Presence Has Tyler Area Wondering
By Joe Durwin On: 02:02PM / Monday July 16, 2012

Pittsfield Police said Monday that the extra enforcement on Tyler Street and Dalton Avenue was for jaywalkers and traffic.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Residents and motorists in the Dalton Avenue area voiced concerns Monday morning about another possible serious crime in their neighborhood, but authorities say the notable police presence is for enhanced policing of pedestrian activity and not a suspect search feared by some.

iBerkshires was contacted by area residents who reported seeing multiple cars pulled over by Pittsfield Police in the Dalton Avenue and Tyler Street area between approximately 11 and noon Monday.

"One flew down Dalton Avenue toward Liquors Inc. going like 100 mph," said Alice Larkin, of Dalton, "While one had someone pulled over next to Dunkin' Donuts on Dalton Ave."

Multiple police cruisers and an officer in a dark red unmarked car were seen circling the area repeatedly.

"I also saw an officer pull someone over, get out, hold up something like a photo to compare the driver to, then hop right back in the car, flick on his lights again and head the opposite way down Tyler Street," said Larkin.

"They seemed to be looking for somebody between Zenner's [Package & Variety store] on Tyler and around Dalton Ave," said one Tyler Street area resident, who declined to give his name.

Pittsfield Police Sgt. Shaun Osborne told iBerkshires the activity was not related to any search effort. "We're not searching for anybody, it's just crosswalk enforcement, that type of thing," he said.

The activity comes just days after a robbery at the Dunkin' Donuts on Dalton Avenue last Thursday, and a robbery at nearby Kirk's Variety on Tyler Street the week prior. Police announced Friday they had arrested a suspect they believed could be involved in both incidents.

Pittsfield Man Charged in Dunkin' Donuts Robbery
Staff Reports On: 07:44PM / Friday July 13, 2012

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police say they have apprehended a suspect in the armed robbery of the Dunkin' Donuts on Dalton Avenue on Thursday night.

According to The Berkshire Eagle, 28-year-old Christopher M. Riddle of Tyler Street, who spent time in prison for robberies committed in 2005, was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on Friday. Riddle was charged with single counts of unarmed robbery and possesion of heroin. The Eagle reported he pleaded not guilty to the charges but was held without bail based on a Superior Court matter.

Police said they responded to a report of an armed robbery at the 84 Dalton Ave. doughnut shop on Thursday night at about 9:29 p.m. The suspect was reported to have been masked when he entered the business and demanded money from the cash registers. Although the suspect's face could not be seen, witnesses were able to identify him based on his voice and his physical characteristics, said police.

Witnesses had reported that the suspect had been in the business on three separate occasions earlier in the evening, but could not be certain that he possessed a weapon during the robbery.

Based on the identification, a BOLO was put out for the suspect, who was located on Tyler Street near Brown Street at approximately 11:04 p.m. Riddle was subsequently arrested by patrol officers and investigators from the Drug Unit. At the time of his arrest, police said he was found to be in possession of a quantity of cash and heroin.

The investigation is ongoing, but police said preliminary investigation indicates that the suspect in Thursday's robbery matches the description of the suspect in a prior robbery that occurred at Kirk's Variety on Tuesday, July 10.

Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact the Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.

Greylock Federal Credit Union Warns of Phone Scam
On: 03:44PM / Wednesday July 11, 2012

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Greylock Federal Credit Union is alerting Berkshire County residents — members and nonmembers — about a phone scam.
... Automated home and mobile phone calls and text messages are coming from an unknown source claiming to need your Visa credit and/or debit card information to reactivate your account.  

The message did not orginate from Greylock Federal Credit Union or any other legitimate source and should be considered fraudulent.

If you receive a phone call or text message similar to the one referenced above, please consider it a scam and hang up the phone immediately. Please contact Greylock at 413-236-4000 or 800-207-5555 if you have given your credit card information so we may help you take prompt corrective action.

If, for any reason, you did give out your debit card information and it is now after regular Greylock business hours, report your lost, stolen or compromised Visa Debit Card by calling 1-800-453-4270.  If, for any reason, you did give out your credit card information and it is now after regular Greylock business hours, report your lost, stolen or compromised Visa Credit Card by calling 1-800-558-3424.

Pittsfield Blogger Dan Valenti Cited For Harassment
Staff Reports On: 02:46PM / Wednesday June 27, 2012

Updated on June 27, 2012 at 10:50 with a comment from Dan Valenti.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local blogger was ordered to remove all references to Meredith Nilan after being dealt a harassment prevention order.

The Berkshire Eagle is reporting that Nilan, who was recently the subject of a highly publicized hit and run pedestrian accident, was granted the order in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday.

The order requires Valenti to remove any and all references to her as well as stay 100 yards away from her, stay away from her home and place of employment and refrain from any contact or abuse.

The order is effective until Monday, July 9, when a court hearing will take place.

Valenti, a former columnist for both The Berkshire Eagle and the Pittsfield Gazette, started his own blog, Planet Valenti, in 2010 and has made a name for himself with his brash criticism of local politics. Nilan, the daughter of Berkshire Superior Court Probation Chief Clifford Nilan, was the focus of numerous postings by Valenti. Those postings frequently speculated on her disposition, parentage, political pull and her actions before and after the incident.

On Wednesday, Valenti told iBerkshires via email that he had yet to see the judge's decision and he would have to see that before determining his next course of action.

"I found out about it while reading the comments on my blog, ironically," Valenti said. "I've never had any contact with Ms. Nilan nor do I intend that. I will also add that this case brings up an interesting First Amendment discussion."

Editor's note: The hit-and-run charge was dismissed. We have corrected the description.

Pittsfield Boy Attacked By Dogs
Pittsfield Police On: 07:00PM / Wednesday June 13, 2012

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Three dogs have been place under quarantine after reportedly attacking a child on Monday night.

Monday, June 11, at 9:28 p.m., the Pittsfield emergency dispatch center received a report of a child being attacked by a dog at 75 Edward Ave.

Pittsfield Fire Department and Pittsfield Police officers responded to  the scene. According to the investigation report by Officer John Murphy, the 9-year-old boy was bleeding from wounds to his head, arms, and face area.

The boy was transported to Berkshire Medical Center by Action  Ambulance.

Witness stated that three dogs were involved in the attack. The three pitbull terriers, owned by Lori Rohde and Adam Pollack of 75 Edward Ave., were placed in quarantine at the Eleanor Sonsini Animal Shelter. The quarantine is a rabies protocol. The  three dogs do have current vaccinations. One pit buil is an adult male, the  second a six-month-old male, and the third a pregnant female.

The case is under investigation by Animal Control Officers Joseph Chague and Terry Moran.

In accordance with Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 140 section 157,  Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn deemed the three dogs vicious animals, and ordered the dogs be restrained, removed, or disposed of as necessary. The owners may appeal this decision to a hearing at Central Berkshire District Court. There is  no criminal offense involved in this case

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