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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 22 - Feb. 23

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, Feb. 22.
 
Damien Armstrong, 18, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of home invasion, and assault in a dwelling house with a dangerous weapon.
 
He was released on $5,000 bail. Armstrong is accused of breaking into a house on Onota Street in Pittsfield on December 16, 2016 and assaulting a 27-year-old man inside.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, Feb. 23.
 
Riley Nolan, 22, of Clarksburg had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, possession of cocaine, and possession of diazepam.
 
He was released on $500 bail. The charges stem from a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on October 5, 2016.
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Adams Apartment House Destroyed in Blaze

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — At least a half-dozen people have lost everything after a fire ravaged a three-apartment home on Old Columbia Street early Saturday morning.

Fire Chief Paul Goyette said some 45 firefighters from four towns battled the blaze for nearly five hours before it was finally extinguished.

"We probably flowed about 150,000 gallons of water," he said later Saturday morning as a backhoe tore down the blackened two-story structure. No was injured, but the tenants lost everything, Goyette said.

The fire was a reported at about 2:07 a.m. as a smell smoke of smoke in a bathroom. When Adams Police arrived at the scene, the flames were already coming from the windows on the first and second stories on the south side of the building. The wood-frame structure is tucked in slightly behind another home and a small outbuilding off Old Columbia, and near the end of Stevens Street, off Newark.

"The fire had a good hold of the building at that time," Goyette said. "We tried an interior tack, had a little bit of knockdown of the fire then it just became untenable.  We pulled out and went all defensive."

North Adams, Cheshire and Clarksburg firefighters aided Adams; North Adams Ambulance Service provided its rehab trailer and Adams Police and Adams Ambulance Service also responded.

The state fire marshal's office had a representative at the scene earlier in the morning. Goyette said he was listing it as non-suspicious, but undetermined as to cause because of the amount of damage.

The American Red Cross had also responded to provide the six or seven occupants with aid. All of them had been out of the building by the time firefighters arrived, Goyette said.

Unfortunately, it appears several pets were killed in the fire.

The building contained 335, 337 and 339 Old Columbia St. addresses. The structure was lathe and plaster, probably balloon structure, and built about 1879. Town documents list the owner as Joseph Garceau.

"After the fire was out, it was deemed by the building inspector that the building was too unsafe and it had to come down," said Goyette.

Please contact info@iberkshires.com if any fundraising is being done on behalf of the tenants so we can help spread the word.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Larry and Pam Lillie Davis here.

A GoFundMe for the Lescarbeau family is here.

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Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 14 - Feb. 16

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
 
George Chapman, 31, of Springfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at 66 Angeli Street in North Adams on August 6, 2015.
 
Derrick King, 39, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of improper storage of a firearm, three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, three counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute - his second offense - possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - armed career felon, possession of a large capacity firearm, improper storage of a fire arm, illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at him home on January 11, 2017.
 
Kareem King, 22, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, three counts of improper storage of a firearm, three counts of illegal ownership of a firearm, two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, and single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of a large capacity firearm, improper storage of a large capacity firearm, illegal possession of a large capacity weapon, and possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card.
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at him home on January 11, 2017.
 
Richard Smith, 26, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, conspiracy to violate drug laws, and possession of heroin.
 
He was ordered to serve concurrent two and a half years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws charges. He was given concurrent two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the heroin charge.
 
The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at his Fenn Street home on January 5, 2016. Single counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, armed career felon, possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number, illegal ownership of a firearm, improper storage of a firearm, and possession of a stun gun were dismissed by the state.
 
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
 
Rafael Lopez-Espinoza, 41, of Southfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on six counts of indecent assault and battery on a child, four counts of intimidation of a witness, three counts of rape of a child with force, two counts of assault and battery, and a single count of cruelty to animals. 
 
He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $35,000 bail. The incident allegedly occurred in New Marlborough between June 19, 2014 and December 30, 2016 and involved a girl who is now 11 years old.
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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.

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Great Barrington Police Investigating Bank Robbery; Suspects Arrested

Update: Eric J. Sheridan, 36, of Connecticut and a woman, Rachelle Winter, 30, of East Providence, R.I., were arrested Wednesday after allegedly being involved in a bank robbery in Fall Village in the town of Canaan, Conn.
 
Both suspects are being treated at Sharon ( Conn.) Hospital after crashing their 2014 red Fiat 500, the same vehicle seen fleeing from Monday's robbery of Salisbury Bank in Great Barrington.
 
Sheridan had allegedly passed a note to a teller at Salisbury Bank demanding money. He then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in the Fiat, which has Rhode Island plates
 

Posted Feb. 15 at 2:31 p.m.: GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Police have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect allegedly involved in a bank robbery that occurred Monday at Salisbury Bank & Trust Co.

 
Eric James Sheridan, 36, of Danielson, Conn., is wanted on charges of unarmed robbery and larceny more than $250. 
 
On Monday, Feb. 13, Great Barrington Police responded to Salisbury Bank, 210 Main St., for a report of a robbery.
 
Upon arrival, officers were informed that a man, later identified as Sheridan, entered the bank and passed a note to a teller demanding money. Sheridan then fled with an undisclosed amount of cash in a red 2014 Fiat 500 with Rhode Island license plates, according to police.
 
Chief William Walsh said police are continuing to search for a second suspect who is believed to have been a passenger in the vehicle. 
 
Although no weapon was shown during the robbery on Feb. 13, Sheridan should be considered armed and dangerous. 
 
This investigation is being conducted by Great Barrington Police and the Berkshire County Law Enforcement Task Force, including state police detectives assigned to the Berkshire County district attorney's office. 
 
Anyone who has information regarding this incident, or who may have seen anything suspicious in the area at the time of the robbery, should immediately contact Great Barrington Police at 413-528-0306.
 

Posted Monday, Feb. 13, 8:31 p.m.: GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Chief William Walsh reports that the Police Department is investigating a bank robbery that occurred Monday afternoon.


Police responded at about 3:30 p.m. to the Salisbury Bank branch on Main Street. Upon arrival, officers were informed that a man entered the bank and passed a note to a teller demanding money. The suspect fled with a quantity of cash southbound on Route 7.

Police believe that a second suspect was waiting for him in a getaway vehicle.

The primary suspect is described as a white man in his late 20s or early 30s, between 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-9, with a thin build, weighing about 150 pounds. He was wearing sunglasses and a gray sweat shirt.

No weapon was shown, and no one was injured.

The Great Barrington Police Department is investigating the incident with assistance from the state police.

If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area, they are urged to call Great Barrington Police at 413-528-0306.

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Recent Entries:
Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 22 - Feb. 23
Adams Apartment House Destroyed in Blaze
Superior Court Briefs: Feb. 14 - Feb. 16
Pittsfield Police Officer Cleared in Shooting
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