Firefighters Knock Down Fire at Lanesborough Truck Repair Shop
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — A swift response knocked down a small fire in a garage bay at Village Truck Sales on Thursday evening.
A motorist notified police that he believed there was a fire at the Route 8 business and Fire Chief Charlie Durfee said the call of a structure fire came in at 5:39 p.m.
"The first engines to pull up on scene were Lanesborough and Cheshire's Engine 2, because they come for us right away, and they found a small fire inside the [bay] door on the left," he said. "We got in and knocked it down quick. ... There was more smoke than anything."
The blaze was contained to the inside corner in the northern-most bay and Durfee estimated the damage at probably not more than $5,000. A few items, including a toolbox and some car parts, were pulled out of the damaged bay. The area above the door was blackened from smoke but did not incur any fire damage.
Durfee said the cause is still under investigation but he's considering it an accidental fire.
"They got lucky," he said. "The guys did a great job."
The business is outside the water district so both Cheshire and Dalton sent tankers and Lanesborough set up its pool as a water supply. Lanesborough Ambulance, Lanesborough and Cheshire Police and state police from the Cheshire barracks also provided aid.
The busy highway was closed and traffic detoured over Old State Road for about an hour. The road was reopened at about 6:45 p.m.
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Former Williams Student Convicted of Rape
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Former Williams College student Yoonsang Bae has been found guilty of raping a classmate five years ago.
He was convicted on Friday in Berkshire Superior Court by Judge Michael Callan of a single count of rape relating to an on-campus incident in 2014.
The 27-year-old Bae will be sentenced on Friday, Sept. 13.
The victim, who was 19 at the time, testified that after attending an event with Bae, she returned to his room for a drink. She then got sick from the alcohol and Bae placed her in his bed where she passed out. When she awoke, Bae was raping her. He refused to stop despite her protests. The two were both Williams College students at the time.
She reported the rape to New York authorities, contacted the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, and underwent a sexual assault examination at a hospital in New York. Williams College investigated the incident and suspended Bae for two years. The Williamstown Police Department conducted a criminal investigation.
"I want to thank the victim in this case for her strength and courage," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said. "She is a hero for coming forward and sharing her story. My office will not plea rape charges down to lesser offenses when we have victims who wish to go to trial.
"When I took office in January, my first priority was to seek justice for victims by aggressively prosecuting violent crime. This is what being tough on crime should look like."
Bae was indicted on a single count of rape on Aug. 9, 2017. Prosecutors say he had been offered an agreement by the prior administration that would have allowed him to plead to the lesser charge of indecent assault and battery and that the case would have been continued without a finding of guilt. Bae did not accept the plea agreement.
After taking office, Harrington said she did not extend any plea bargains and opted to pursue the rape charge instead, culminating in Firday's guilty verdict.
The case was prosecuted by Stephanie Ilberg.
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Pittsfield Police Arrest Man on DUI, Firearms Charges
|The handgun police say they found in the defendant's vehicle.|
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A man allegedly under the influence took officers on a high-speed chase after a Shot Spotter notification early Tuesday morning until crashing through the fence at St. Joseph's Church and hitting a tree.
Domingo Sobers, 28, is being charged with numerous motor vehicle offenses, including driving under the influene, as possessing a firearm without a license and discharging one within 500 feet of a building.
According to a report by Lt. John Soules, officers responded to the Shot Spotter activation at the intersection of Daniels Avenue and Union Street at about 3:29 a.m. Evidence of a shooting was later recovered in that area.
Dispatch reported to responding officers that a Jeep Cherokee may have been involved. While responding to the scene, Officer Michael Lupisella observed a Jeep Cherokee operating one street away from the Shot Spotter location.
The Jeep failed to stop at a stop sign, he said, and he attempted to initiate a traffic stop. The Jeep did not stop but took off at a high rate of speed and ran several stop signs. Police say the driver operated it the wrong way down the one-way portion of Bradford Street.
The vehicle, then travelling eastbound, crossed all lanes of North Street without stopping. It struck the curb on the east side of the street, crashed through the church's iron fence and struck a tree on the church property. The fence and church lawn were damaged. The Jeep's airbags deployed and the vehicle sustained considerable damage.
The operator was the lone occupant of the vehicle. Officers stated that he exhibited signs of being under the influence of alcohol. Ambulance personnel responded to the scene but Sobers declined medical attention. Officers said that when looked inside of his vehicle, they observed a 9mm handgun in plain view within the interior.
As a result of the incident, Sobers was placed under arrest and charged with the following charges. Sobers was to be arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on the following charges: marked lanes violation, failure to stop at a red light, improper operation of a motor vehicle, operation under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, possession of firearm without a license and discharge of a firearm within 500 feet of a building.
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Pittsfield Police Cruiser Involved in Accident
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield Police cruiser was involved in a two-car accident on Thursday evening and the officer and the driver of the second vehicle incurred minor injuries.
According to police, the 2017 Ford Explorer operated by Officer Matthew Killeen was northbound traveling from South Street through the intersection at Park Square at about 8:30 p.m. when he collided with a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta, operated by Sheila Aitken of Cheshire.
Killeen had his emergency lights activated in response to a call for service, police said.
Both operators were transported to Berkshire Medical Center for minor injuries. The crash is being investigated by Patrol Division Supervisors and the Traffic Bureau.
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Former Becket Resident Victim of Sunday's Shooting in Pittsfield
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former Becket woman has died from injuries suffered during an early morning shooting on Sunday, Aug. 25.
Stephanie Olivieri, 32, of Yonkers, N.Y., suffered a single gunshot wound while sitting in a vehicle near the intersection of Columbus Avenue and South John Street in Pittsfield. She subsequently died at Berkshire Medical Center. The case is being investigated as a homicide.
At this time, the family requests privacy.
Pittsfield Police responded to both a ShotSpotter activation and several 911 calls reporting multiple gunshots at 3:22 a.m. on Sunday. Upon arrival, officers found Olivieri wounded inside a silver sedan. She was treated at the scene and then transported by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center.
Her remains are being transferred to the Chief Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy on a date to be determined.
At this point, investigators do not believe she was the intended target of the shooting.
No arrests have been made but Pittsfield Police, the State Police Detectives assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office, and the Berkshire County sheriff's office are working to bring the shooter to justice.
Investigators are asking anyone with information to contact the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705. Anonymous tips can be made by texting PITTIP and the message to 847411 (TIP411).
"Our hearts sink for the Olivieri family. No one should lose a loved one this way and we send our deepest condolences," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
"We trust that law enforcement will find the person who committed this heinous crime. We will aggressively prosecute and hold the perpetrator accountable. We may never be able to fill the gap left in the hearts of her friends and family but they deserve to have justice served. We will not tolerate this type of violence in Berkshire County."
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