North Adams Man Accused of Stabbing Pizza Driver Arraigned
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A North Adams man accused of stabbing a 50-year-old Domino's delivery driver and trying to rob him of money was arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Berkshire Superior Court.
Travis T. Perras, 25, of Union Street had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf for single counts of armed assault with intent to murder, armed assault with intent to rob, and assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.
Judge Daniel Ford ordered that he continue to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $100,000 cash or surety bail.
It is alleged that Perras stabbed Charles Sauer on July 14 at about at about 11:30 p.m. near Perras' Union Street home. Officers arriving on the scene found Sauer in his vehicle with multiple stab wounds to his chest and abdomen. He was able to identify his assailant and was taken to Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield. Perras was located in a residence not far from the crime scene and taken into custody a short time later.
The investigation was conducted by members of North Adams Police Department, Massachusetts State Police - Troopers, Detectives and Crime Scene Division and Adams Police K9.
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.
Head-On Collision North Adams Leaves One in Critical Condition
Update, 3:19 p.m., June 17: The driver of the Dodge Durango involved in Friday's head-on collision is expected to face "numerous motor vehicle charges," according to police.
Robert Matte Jr., 43, of North Adams, has been identified as the owner and driver of the northbound Durango that apparently veered into the opposite lane and hit a Honda CRV with five people in it, including two very young children.
Kaileigh Lewis, 23, of North Adams, a passenger in the back seat of the Honda, was severely injured in the crash. Also injured was Diane Pearson, 49, the Honda's driver, who was visiting from Texas to see her new grandchild, 4-day-old Aleksei Davila, who was in the back seat.
Also in the Honda was Marcos Davila Rodriguez, the car's owner, in the front passenger seat, and 2-year-old Inali Davis, also in the back.
Both children were in secure car seats but Lewis, who was sitting between them, was not wearing a seat belt, according to Sgt. James Burdick.
"Everybody was transported to various hospitals," he said on Saturday. "Some when to BMC North and some went to BMC Pittsfield and some went to Bay State Medical Center in Springfield. ... Ms. Pearson was pretty severely injured and Ms. Lewis was severely injured."
The 2-year-old was taken as a precaution to Bay State because of striations, or bruising, caused by the seat belts, he said. However, he added, "that's because they had the child properly seat belted and locked in a child safety seat, which is excellent."
Both the driver and the passenger in the Honda had seat belts on; Lewis and Matte did not.
"That's why we advocate all of the time for seat belts and car seats," Burdick said.
He said the accident is still under investigation and that "Matte will be facing numerous motor vehicle charges."
"We are still waiting on accident reconstruction to finish with their investigation and we will put the charges together at that time and he will be charged accordingly," the sergeant said.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A head-on collision on south Church Street on Friday afternoon left several people injured, one in critical condition.
The collision between two sport utility vehicles occurred just about 2 p.m. by the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Skating Rink.
Police Lt. Jason Wood said a northbound Dodge Durango veered into the opposite lane and hit a Honda CRV that was heading south.
Wood said at this point, it is unknown why the Dodge crossed the center line.
"For whatever reason, it left the travel lane and we are trying to figure out why that occurred," he said.
There were five occupants — including a young child and an infant — in the Honda. Wood believed that all five were taken to Berkshire Medical Center in North Adams or Pittsfield by North Adams Ambulance Service. Wood said one occupant of the Honda has been listed in critical condition and that the driver of the Dodge did not appear to be injured.
Wood said one of the school resource officers was at Drury High School and was able to get to the accident quickly. He said he had been in contact with state police that the accident was still under investigation.
Two other cars southbound were also involved when one stopped because of the accident and was rear-ended by the vehicle following. Neither car appeared to sustain notable damage. The front end of the Honda, however, incurred significant damage.
South Church was closed from West Shaft Road south (it was still closed just before 5 p.m., police say to expect the road to be closed until 8 p.m.) and traffic was turned around or routed over West Shaft.
Both North Adams Police and Fire responded to the accident. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts campus police and Adams Police helped reroute traffic and Adams Ambulance also provided assistance.
Home Damaged, Pets Lost in North Adams Fire
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — An early morning fire severely damaged a Greylock Avenue home on Sunday. No one was injured but two pets were lost.
Fire Director Stephen Meranti said the fire began on small exterior porch on the south side of the single-family home.
"It extended up the outside and it entered a window on the second floor and it entered the attic, so the attic was a little difficult," he said. "The fire gets between the slate and board."
The fire was called in shortly after midnight by a neighbor, who also alerted the homeowners. The house's fire alarms went off as well, said Meranti.
Police Officer Anthony Beverly, who responded within minutes, said he could see the fire before he took the corner onto Greylock and that the smoke was so heavy he had trouble seeing his way around the outside of the house.
"The south side of the building was fully on fire," he said. 'The flames were roiling up the side. They knocked it down pretty quick. They did a good job."
Fire Lt. John Paciorek called for the oncoming shift en route to the scene after hearing Beverly's description and put out an all call for all shifts to come in when he got to the scene.
Clarksburg Fire Company sent a truck to fill the airpacks and Adams Fire Department was covering the North Adams station. North Adams Ambulance Service set up a rehab tent for firefighters to get out the rain.
Meranti said the occupants were able to get out of the house but not their two cats.
"They lost the two cats in there, they couldn't revive them," he said.
The incident is still under investigation but is not considered suspicious.
Two Juveniles Arrested in Relation to Sullivan School Arson
Police Director Michael Cozzaglio said the two juveniles were arrested on Monday afternoon but have not yet been arraigned. Their names are being withheld because of their ages.
"These fires were intentionally set," Cozzaglio said. "It was pretty serious stuff and we wanted to resolve this as quickly as possible."
He said no further information could be released at this time.
Firefighters were called to the vacant Sullivan School at about 8:12 p.m. on Friday and spent nearly two hours searching the multi-level school in heavy smoke and dousing a number of fires.
All off-duty firefighters were called in because of the amount of manpower needed to contain the building. Fire Director Stephen Meranti on Friday night had initially said three fires had been discovered but later updated that to multiple fires on more than one level.
There were four fire extinguishers lined up at the front of the building when firefighters arrived.
The 51,000 square foot building has been empty for more than a year since the opening of Colegrove Park Elementary School but was being used for storage. It also still contains a lot of school materials and furnishings that were left behind. It was recently listed for sale by the city.
Cozzaglio said the investigation was lead by Officer Brad Vivori with assistance from the state police Arson Unit and other North Adams officers and investigative agencies.
"It really was a team effort. Everyone's pitched in with this," he said, adding that officers pushed to find the suspects behind the fires both because of the seriousness of the crime and to "give our citizens peace of mind."
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