Mistaken Report Leads to Search of Hoosic River in North Adams
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Emergency responders spent about an hour searching the Hoosic River along State Road on Wednesday before determining that a report of two youngsters in the river was unfounded.
City and Williamstown police and firefighters, as well as North Adams Ambulance personnel, searched the riverside Wednesday beginning at about noon.
But the juveniles they were looking for turned out to be two people in a raft who were fishing.
"Through the investigation, NAPD located the two individuals that went in from the flood chute and they were in that location at that time," Fire Director Stephen Meranti said. "They confused [the caller] because they were bracing themselves against the wall."
Meranti said the call came in from the Greylock Club after a motorist said she saw the two people while driving into the city from the west.
"She could see the concrete flood chute behind them," he said. "We were sure that's where pretty much these guys went into the river."
Meranti said police officers eventually located the raft and the two people said they were in the area at the time.
Emergency service personnel walked the river bank and asked people along the bank if they saw anything. No one reported any sightings of children in the flood chute.
A command center was set up at Holy Family Terrace and the investigation lasted nearly an hour.
"You just have to make sure," Meranti said. "You have people in the area, and you have vehicles in the area with tracks going down to the river and no tracks coming out . … We just have to be thorough and it was a collaborative effort."
UPDATED: Pittsfield Pursuit Ends With Officer Firing on Vehicle
UPDATED: Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 6:45 p.m.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The district attorney's office says 55-year-old Mark Marauszwski, of Pittsfield, is in stable condition after being shot by a Pittsfield Police officer Wednesday morning at Rotary Park.
Marauszwski allegedly led police on a chase throughout the city's center Wednesday morning, ending at Rotary Park on Springside Avenue. There he was shot by Officer Martin Streit, according to the district attorney's office.
Marauszwski was transferred to Berkshire Medical Center and is now in stable condition.
Authorities said Office David Hallas had pulled over the sports utility vehicle Marauszwski was driving on Bartlett Avenue around 9:09 a.m. He allegedly struck Hallas with the door of the vehicle and then sped off.
Hallas and other officers, including Streit, chased the vehicle through the center of the city and into the parking lot of Rotary Park.
The district attorney's office says at the park Marauszwski drove at Streit, who was outside of the cruiser. Streit then fired three shots from his service weapon at the vehicle, two of which struck the vehicle and one hitting Marauszwski. The Mercedes that Marauszwski was driving came to a stop as it crashed into a cement post.
Officer administered first aid to Marauszwski and he was transported by ambulance to the hospital. He was treated in the Emergency Department and placed under arrest. He faces charges of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, operating after a suspension, failure to stop for a police officer, and two counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon.
State police assigned to the district attorney's office are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.
The pursuit ended at Rotary Park on Springside Avenue.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A routine traffic stop on Bartlett Avenue on Wednesday morning turned into a police pursuit through the center of the city that resulted in an officer firing on the vehicle.
Police Chief Michael Wynn said the incident occurred at about 9:09 a.m. when officers reported that the stop had turned into a pursuit.
"Within 5 minutes, we were informed by the involved officers that they were involved in a scene of shots fired and the suspect was in custody," the chief said at the scene outside Rotary Park on Springside Avenue.
The pursuit ended when the driver of the vehicle tried to cut through the park and struck a cement barrier post.
Both the officer and the individual in the motor vehicle were taken to Berkshire Medical Center according to protocol, he said.
Wynn declined at this point to say if anyone had been injured, citing the active investigation.
"What we believe at this time is one officer fired his weapon at the vehicle that was involved in the pursuit," he said, and that only one person was in the vehicle.
Springside Avenue is currently closed between Glenwood Avenue and Brown Street.
Wynn said state police from the Cheshire barracks are helping to cover the city with patrols as Pittsfield Police Department works the investigation. The city has also requested the aid of the state police detective unit assigned to the district attorney's office.
"There's obviously so many of our people involved," he said. "Our crime scene unit and our traffic unit will be mapping the scene for the state police."
Any further information, Wynn said, will come through the district attorney's office.
Superior Court Briefs: Jan. 17 - Jan. 19.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Valerie Soules, 63, of Pittsfield, pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual relations with inmates.
She was placed on three-years probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. Soules engaged in a sexual relationship with an inmate while employed at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
The incident occurred between October 1, 2014 and September 17, 2015.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, Jan. 19.
Tonia O'Brien, 19, of Hinsdale, pleaded guilty to single counts of assault and battery upon a child with substantial bodily injury, reckless endangerment of a child, misleading a police officer, and assault and battery.
She was ordered to serve eight to 12 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Framingham on the assault and battery upon a child charge. She was given concurrent eight to ten years on the misleading a police officer charge. And she was given current time at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the other charges.
O'Brien assaulted a two and a half-month-old baby on December 31, 2015 and assaulted a 57-year-old woman between December 14, 2015 and December 15, 2015 in Hinsdale.
No Serious Injuries in Hoosac Valley Bus, Tractor-Trailer Accident
ADAMS, Mass. — No major injuries were reported after emergency services responded to an accident involving a school bus and a tractor-trailer truck on Route 116 on Wednesday morning
"Essentially it was what it was but it could have been a lot worse," Police Chief Richard Tarsa said. "It had the potential to be much worse than it was."
Tarsa said a little after 7 a.m. a tractor-trailer truck, traveling north on Orchard Street toward Adams, lost control of the trailer section of the vehicle.
He said because of icy road conditions, the trailer jackknifed across the road. The trailer was empty so it had less traction than it would have had if it was full. The left rear of the trailer hit the left front fender of a school bus that was heading to Hoosac Valley High School.
"The lack of weight in the back of it made it very light and when on the icy road, it caused it to kick out sideways," Tarsa said. "As it did, the bus driver saw it and tried to make an evasive move by pulling and extreme right going up onto the sidewalk."
Emergency services, Hoosac Valley administration, a school adjustment counselor, representatives from Dufour Bus and members of the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District Safety Team, were on the scene soon after the accident.
Tarsa said the bus was carrying 31 people, including the driver. One person complaining of pain was transported to the North Adams Campus of Berkshire Medical Center.
All students were checked for injuries and were transported to school on a second bus, according to interim Superintendent Robert Putnam. All parents were informed by the school and some students went home and school emergency personnel were available for students throughout the day.
He added that there was also a robocall informing all Hoosac Valley parents.
Tarsa said the bus had to be towed away but the tractor trailer truck was operable.
Emergency personnel was also on staff at C.T. Plunkett Elementary to deal with possible shock. Some Plunkett students waiting for the bus Wednesday morning near the accident saw the damage.
Tarsa said the safety team was created to deal these kinds of incidents and is comprised of members from the Adams and Cheshire police and fire departments, Adams Ambulance Service, state troopers, Dufour Bus, and school administration who meet regularly to anticipate and train for emergency situations and to conduct student drills.
"It went very well and everything went to plan," he said. "We train for this through event training, crisis management, and school drills. Everything went accordingly and fell into place."
He said after the safety team met to review their response to see what lessons could be learned for future responses.
Multiple Towns Battle Blaze in Pittsfield Apartment Building
Lenox, Adams, and Williamstown sent ladder trucks to the scene.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Multiple towns joined Pittsfield Fire early Sunday morning to combat a blaze in a multi-family building on Dalton Avenue.
Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said a family of five was taken to Berkshire Medical Center for smoke inhalation during the blaze which completely destroyed the apartment building.
The chief said the department received the call to respond to 8 Dalton Avenue at 3:30 in the morning as flames shot out of the building.
"On arrival fire was showing and people were evacuated from the building. We believe everyone is out of the building and safe. Some of the families were transported to Berkshire Medical Center for smoke inhalation," Czerwinski said.
Czerwinski didn't know exactly how many people lived in the building but it features four apartments on the upper floors and office space on the ground level.
Three Berkshire County towns ended up being called in to bring ladder trucks because the city still remains without one. The city's primary truck has been in the shop for repairs and the reserve was taken out of service.
"We obviously didn't have our ladder truck. It wasn't a problem offhand but as the fire escalated we did call in multiple ladder trucks from Lenox, number one, Williamstown, number two, and Adams, number three, because of the ice on the street. We couldn't throw ground ladders up," Czerwinski said.
"It was unsafe to operate off of ground ladders so we had multiple aerial ladders. The roof was collapsed. The third flood collapsed."
The chief expects his ladder truck to return to the department after repairs this upcoming week and the City Council has approved the purchase of a used, 2014, ladder truck as well.
Fire investigators have not yet determined a cause. As of 8 a.m. firefighters were continuing to snuff out the last of the remaining fire.
Hinsdale was on scene to provide rehabilitation service as the temperatures were below freezing. Both Action Ambulance and County Ambulance were on scene throughout providing assistance. The Red Cross was on hand as well.
The cold weather was a particular factor in trying to get equipment stabilized to fight the fire.
"The ice and cold. Obviously the streets are pretty well frozen up. City yard came out with a sander and tried to get the sand down as best as we can. The problem with that is until we can get down to the pavement, the ladder trucks will slide around on the ice. That's why it was important to get the sanders here early," Czerwinski said.
A portion of Dalton Avenue and Tyler Street was closed for hours and Czerwinski expected that to remain until the afternoon.
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