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Man Cited For Running Red Light In Crash Into Pittsfield Storefront
By Andy McKeever On: 10:44AM / Friday March 27, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police have cited the driver of the van than ran into a second street building for running a red light.
 
A Ford van driven by John Eckert crashed into J.M.S. Industrial Supply Wednesday morning after narrowly missing a collision with a Berkshire Regional Transit Authority bus. 
 
"After viewing the video tapes on the BRTA bus, he was found at fault for a red light violation," said Officer Michael Silver.
 
The officer said the BRTA van was heading east at the intersection when Eckert ran the red light as he was heading northbound. The two never collided but Eckert's effort to avoid that led to the crash.
 
"He swerved to miss [the van] and drove himself into the building," Silver said.

Original Post on Wednesday, March 25 at 12:07 p.m.

Pittsfield Accident Sends Van Into Fenn Street Building

A van involved in a motor vehicle accident smashed through the front door of J.M.S Supply on Fenn Street on Wednesday morning.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A motor vehicle accident at the corner of Second and Fenn streets sent a van smashing into the front of a hardware store.
 
The white van went through angled corner door of J.M.S. Industrial Supply at 289 Fenn, skimming a street light. The streetlight was ultimately pulled down as the van was towed from the scene by Sayers Auto Wrecking. 
 
The collision occurred just before 11 a.m. Police are still investigating the accident but say the Ford van operated by John Eckert was northbound before careening into the storefront.
 
Police say an eastbound Berkshire Regional Transit Authority van operated by Rebecca Whitaker was also involved in the accident but it is unclear exactly how. That van did not appear to have been damaged. 
 
No one was reported hurt but firefighters had to evacuate seven residents living in the building that runs along Second Street and utilities were shut off. Three people inside J.M.S. were evacuated as well. 
 
"We assisted in the evacuation of three people in the business," said Deputy Fire Chief Michael Polidoro. "The owner and two other people had to be extricated through the basement.
 
"The main door was obviously destroyed."
 
Polidoro said traffic would have to be rerouted around the intersection, particularly on the Fenn Street side, because the building's structure was compromised. Workers from the Department of Public Works helped with traffic control. 
 
"The road is going to have to be shut down on this side because of the potential collapse," he said.
 
City inspectors and the property manager were at the scene. Eversource was being contacted about restoring some electrical service to a section of the building.
 
"At this time, all the pieces have to come together [before people can go back in]," Polidoro said.
 
The property is owned by Alexander and Nancy Kolben of New York City, according to city records, and is valued at $168,500. The building has five residential units in addition to the storefront.


     
Pittsfield Police: Gun Found Near Reid Middle School
Staff Reports On: 03:52PM / Wednesday January 28, 2015
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police say guns and drugs were found laying on the ground behind Reid Middle School on Monday.
 
According to police, a resident was walking in Springside Park behind the school when he found what he thought was a bag of trash. However, once he looked inside he found a .22 caliber pistol, ammunition and drug paraphernalia.
 
"Based on the actions of the reporting party, once the bag was discovered it was never out of his control or accessible to any other party," said Police Chief Michael Wynn in a statement released on Wednesday.
 
"Given this fact and the initial assessment by the responding officer, it was determined that once the bag and its contents were secure no additional threat or connection existed with the school. At this time, this is being handled by our investigative units as a drug and larceny of a firearm case."
 
The resident was walking along the woodline, which is not a route typically traveled by students walking to and from school.
 
However, police are looking for more information regarding the situation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Pittsfield Police Department's Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.
 
"This is in the hands of the police department. I am confident they will complete a thorough investigation," said Mayor Daniel Bianchi.


     
Four Injured, Pets Lost in Pittsfield Duplex Fire
Staff Reports On: 05:09PM / Tuesday December 16, 2014
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The home on Lincoln Street burned in the early hours.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An early morning fire on Lincoln Street heavily damaged a duplex and injured four, including three firefighters.

One occupant of the home was taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center for treatment of burns and smoke-related injuries. Two pets are also missing and another, a cat, died in the blaze.

Two firefighters suffered minor lacerations and another smoke inhalation; all three were treated at the scene.

The cause is under investigation by the Fire Investigation Unit, state fire marshal's office and the Police Detective Bureay.

City firefighters responded to the 2-alarm blaze with five engines and the ladder truck to the structure fire at about 4:13 a.m. According Deputy Chief Michael Polidoro, there was heavy fire extending to the second floor when fire units arrived on the scene.

It took 90 minutes to bring the fire under control. There is heavy fire damage in the front on both the first and second floors and smoke and heat damage to the rest of the building. The owner of the building lived on the first floor; a tenant on the second.

All of the occupants were displaced and the Red Cross was contacted to assist them.

Western Massachusetts Electric Co., Berkshire Gas and city inspectors assisted at the scene; Dalton Fire Department covered the city.



     
Pittsfield Domestic Disturbance Prompts Special Response Team
By Andy McKeever On: 12:08PM / Saturday December 13, 2014
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Police closed streets around a home where a domestic disturbance was reported.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A city man was taken into custody Saturday morning after the Berkshire County Special Response Team had to be called out.

Police received two calls shortly before 10 a.m., one from a postal carrier who heard noises and screaming from a home at the corner of Myrtle Street and Stoddard Avenue and another from a family member.

"We're still trying to sort out what exactly occurred inside, but essentially an emotionally disturbed person, a mental health patient, with some medical history who was having a bad way and managed to get his hands on a black powder rifle," Police Chief Michael Wynn said.

"We're pretty sure it wasn't loaded, from the family, but we didn't know for certain so that necessitates a protocol."

The SRT team consists of representatives from local police departments — including Lanesborough, Lenox, Great Barrington, Adams, and Dalton — and the Berkshire County Sheriff's office.

They closed the streets and were able to make contact with the man, enter the house and defuse the situation.

"He was taken into custody without incident and is on his way to the hospital," Wynn said.

Wynn declined to name the man because the suspect was being treated as a medical patient, but said charges will likely be brought related to the domestic disturbance following an investigation.

The streets were to be reopened once the police equipment was removed. Police began leaving the area about an hour after arriving. 

"Everything went as smoothly as could be expected given the circumstances," Wynn said. "When operations go this way, we're very happy. These are the way they're supposed to go."



     
Goshen Man's Death Related to Pittsfield Shooting
Staff Reports On: 01:05PM / Friday December 12, 2014
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Goshen man died as a result of a blood clot caused by a gunshot wound incurred in a Pittsfield parking lot. 

Dr. Henry Nields, the state's chief medical examiner, said 29-year-old Anthony Gamache died as a result of the blood clot that, in his opinion, was caused by a gunshot wound to the leg.  

Gamache was shot in the leg in the Big Y parking lot in Pittsfield on Tuesday, Nov. 18, allegedly over a drug deal gone bad.

He was taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton to seek treatment of his injury and then transported to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, from which he was treated and released. Gamache returned to his home in Goshen.  

He began experiencing pain Wednesday evening, Nov. 19.  Emergency medical technicians responded to his home and transported Gamache to Cooley Dickinson Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  

Peter J. Campbell, 18, of Pittsfield, is facing several assault charges in the shooting of Gamache and District Attorney David F. Capeless said additional charges will be forthcoming when the case is presented to a Berkshire County grand jury.  

Campbell had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf in Central Berkshire District Court, on single counts of armed assualt with intent to rob, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm without a firearm identification card and discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building.  He is being held without the right to bail at the Berkshire County House of Correction.     
 
The investigation into the shooting is being conducted by members of the Pittsfield Police Department and state police detectives assigned to the district attorney's office.



     
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