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Pittsfield Police Seeking Suspect in Bank Robbery
Staff Reports On: 04:59PM / Monday April 01, 2013
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Pittsfield Co-op's Dalton Avenue branch was closed Monday afternoon after it was robbed. Above, the suspect in the robbery captured by cameras leaving the scene.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 2, 2013: Police have released photos of the suspect.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are searching for a suspect in the robbery of Pittsfield Cooperative Bank's 110 Dalton Ave. branch.

According to Pittsfield Police, the robbery occurred at about 1 p.m. when a man passed a note to a teller. Police say no weapon was shown but they have not revealed the contents of the note.

An undisclosed amount of cash was taken and the suspect left on foot on Dartmouth Street.

Police Chief Michael Wynn said no one was injured in the incident.

"In a very quick period of time, patrol responded, had good information, description information," he told the Police Advisory Board on Monday evening. "K-9 tracked to an adjoinng street where the suspect, they believe, got into a car."

The suspect is described as a white man, in his late 30s to mid-40s, approximately 5-feet-8 and weighing between 200 and 210 pounds. He was wearing a yellow "Pelle Pelle" T-shirt, tan cap and black rectangular-frame glasses.

The Detective Bureau is reviewing video from the bank and adjoining businesses.

If anyone has information, call the Pittsfield Police Detective Bureau at 413-448-9705.



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Superior Court Briefs: March 25 - March 28.
Staff Reports On: 05:10PM / Friday March 29, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Monday, March 25.

Kevin White, 45, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of breaking and entering in the daytime and larceny over $250.

He was placed on one year probation and ordered to pay $1,500 in restitution. White broke into a home in Hancock on September 7, 2011.

Danielle Kenyon, 50, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to five counts of armed robbery while masked.

She was ordered to serve eight to 10 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction.

Kenyon took money from the Getty Gas Station on February 5, 2012, Angelina's Sub Shop on February 18, 2013, Palmer's Variety Store on February 21, 2012 and Lipton Mark on February 25, 2012. All incidents were in Pittsfield.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 26.

Anthony Teti Jr., 31, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to 21 counts of misuse of a credit card, 20 counts of fraudulent use of a credit car, 17 counts of uttering a false document, 16 counts of forgery of a document, four counts of receiving stolen property over $250, four counts of identity fraud, four counts of larceny from a building, three counts of larceny over $250 from a person over age 60, two counts of attempt to commit a crime to wit: fraudulent use of a credit card, two counts of larceny under $250 from a person over the age of 60 and single counts of forgery of a check, uttering a false check, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license, breaking and entering in the daytime, breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the daytime, larceny under $250 and common and notorious thief.

He was sentenced to concurrent three to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction all charges except for three counts of identify fraud, two counts of larceny under $250 from a person over age 60, two counts of attempt to commit a crime, two counts of misuse of a credit card and single counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, larceny under $250 and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

He was sentenced to serve concurrent sentences at the Berkshire County House of Corrections on those charges.

A single count of common and notorious thief was dismissed by the state. The incidents occurred in Pittsfield and Cheshire between April 5, 2012 and August 12, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, March 27.

Christopher Harrison, 44, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of caretaker abuse or neglect of an elder and threat to commit a crime, to wit: murder.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail.

Harrison allegedly failed to take care of a 67-year-old woman between January 1, 2012 and February 22, 2013. He also allegedly threatened to murder a 41-year-old woman between January 1, 2013 and February 22, 2013. Both incidents allegedly occurred in Pittsfield.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, March 28.

Martini Martin, 29, of Englewood, N.J. was sentenced to three to five years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction after pleading guilty on November 7, 2012 to two counts of possession of Oxycontin with intent to distribute and two counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws.

Martin possessed Oxycontin with the intent to sell and conspired with others on April 2, 2010 and May 6, 2010.

Brenda Santos, 23, of Whitman pleaded guilty to a single count of unarmed robbery in connection with the theft of money from the Elm Street branch of Greylock Federal Credit Union on March 30, 2012.

She was placed on two years probation on the condition that Santos attend a six month residential drug treatment program.



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Tractor-Trailer Crash Sends 3 to Hospital, Closes Rte. 2
By Tammy Daniels On: 04:40PM / Monday March 25, 2013
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The impact was so great that the cab on the ABF truck was sheared off and settled pointing in the wrong direction. The small Civic in the middle received minor damage.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A horrific collision between two tractor-trailer trucks on Route 2 on Monday afternoon sent four three people to the hospital and is expected to close the road between Miner and East Main streets for hours.

[Both drivers were in fair or stable condition on Tuesday morning. The road was not reopened until 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday.]

Police say the westbound semi lost its brakes around the Hairpin Turn on the Mohawk Trail. State police followed as he tried to slow the vehicle without success.

The truck hit the median on the eastbound lane at the intersection of Union and Beaver streets and rammed head-on into an ABF semi in the eastbound lane that had just passed Gallup Street.

The accident occurred at about 3:30 p.m.

The impact was so great it sheared off the ABF cab and and destroyed the cab on the runaway truck. The collision also sheared off a utility pole at the bottom of Gallup Street and damaged the corner of a home.

The runaway semi came to rest against the concrete wall of the flood control at the Eclipse Dam. Both drivers were transported at first to North Adams Regional Hospital and were expected to be taken to Baystate Medical or Albany, N.Y. Lifeflight was on its way to North Adams.

Pieces of the cabs and materials inside them were scattered along the roadway, with parts of the blue runaway cab mixed in with the green ABF. Paper littered the road, presumably manifests and other paperwork that was stored in runaway's cab. Diesel fuel was leaking from both trucks.

Sgt. James Burdick said more information on the identities of the drivers would not be available until late Monday or Tuesday. It was not known what the trucks were hauling other than they were not hazardous.

Crews were still working at 9:30 p.m. to get the road cleared and the power back on.

Burdick said he could not remember a similar accident in his nearly 30 years on the force.

A neighbor said she'd heard a bang similar to snowplows hitting her driveway. When she looked out the window, she could see the smashed up blue cab and smoke rising from it and called 911.

Two cars were also involved in the crash. A small gray Civic Honda following the ABF truck had minor damage but a blue Toyota Highlander behind the Civic was hit and received significant front-end damage. The driver of the Highlander, Susan Konopka, 57, was taken to the hospital; the driver of the Civic was speaking to police but was expected to go to the hospital on his own.

Numerous emergency management officials were called to the scene in addition to North Adams Fire and Police. North Adams Ambulance Service was remaining on the scene and setting up its triage tent. The state police were assisting and the accident reconstruction team was on the way. Clarksburg police were also assisting with traffic and Williamstown and Adams Village Ambulance Service was being called for backup coverage. Joseph Dean of Dean's Quality Auto was assessing the damage and getting a team in place for recovery and removal of the vehicles.

The highway is expected to be closed for several hours for investigation and cleanup.


Update: The driver of the runaway truck, Mihai Goaga, 39, of Revere, who is listed as a trucking operator since 2011 by the U.S. Department of Transportation, is at Albany (N.Y.) Medical Center. The driver of the ABF truck, Michael Lemieux, 53, of Bennington, Vt., is at Berkshire Medical Center.

Police Director Michael Cozzaglio said three flatbeds and a dump truck of debris were removed from the area on Monday night and a second dump truck was used on Tuesday morning for final cleanup. Dean's Towing called in a second heavy hauler to aid in the removal.

On Tuesday, the site was limited to one lane as Maxymillian Technologies and the state Department of Environmental Protection's Emergency Response Team removed soil along the flood-control chutes that had been contaminated by diesel fuel.

The sidewalk along the eastbound lane was covered in absorbent material. A strong smell of fuel was still evident at around noon. But fluid seen dripping from Goaga's orange trailer wasn't diesel, said the police director.

"It was partially loaded, it was about one-quarter filled with cooking oil," said Cozzaglio, however, he added that "we estimated approximately 100 gallons of diesel fuel was dumped out all over the area."

Cozzaglio said he and other veterans on the force could not remember any accidents of this magnitude.

"We've never had anything of this size and scope in this confined a space," he said. The emergency training between the various emergency responders came into play as multiple players — from state police to National Grid to local media — descended on the scene.

"That worked out well, that's something we can take out of it. ... I thought everything went pretty smooth for such a horrific event," said Cozzaglio.

North Adams officials have not yet spoken to Goaga but he is believed to have lost his brakes coming down west side of the Mohawk Trail. The accident occurred minutes later.

Cozzaglio confirmed a state trooper came up behind the truck on the descent and noticed the brakes smoking and attempted to stop it on the flatter section of the road approaching West Shaft Road.

"The trooper did make every attempt to try to stop the truck, he used his siren, his lights, the PA system, his radio ... he was trying to contact that truck driver to stop," said Cozzaglio.

It is likely Goaga was no longer able to brake the vehicle, which continued to careen down the highway. A driver who pulled out of Mohawk Forest estimated the truck was doing 65-75 mph as bore down on him; the driver, who posted his experience in the comments below, pulled into the VFW as the truck swerved into the eastbound lane to avoid him. Goaga is also believed to have tried to slow down by hitting the median at the Beaver Street intersection.

This isn't the first time a tractor-trailer has had brake issues coming down the steep trail and a number of readers have wondered why a truck ramp isn't available. Cozzaglio said having one would certainly help but he thinks too often truck drivers unfamiliar with the road overestimate their vehicle's abilities.

"The signage is good on the mountain but these tractor-trailer truck drivers don't heed them and once they get on the slope of the mountain it's too late. ...  He couldn't stop the big rig and this what we have. It's an unfortunate event."



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Superior Court Briefs: March 20 - March 22
Staff Reports On: 11:24AM / Friday March 22, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, March 20.

Matthew King, 31, of Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

He was sentenced to 18 months at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession charge and placed on one year probation on the conspiracy charge.

The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at 17 Spring Street in Adams on March 13, 2012.
 
Jessica Marino, 25, of Adams pleaded guilty to single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate drug laws.

She was sentenced to 36 days at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the possession charge. The conspiracy charge was continued without a finding for six months.

The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at 27 Spring Street in Adams on March 13, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, March 22.

Kevin Reale, 20, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute.

He was released on personal recognizance. The charge stems from an incident in Pittsfield on Feb. 12.



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Superior Court Briefs: March 12 - March 15
Staff Reports On: 05:43PM / Tuesday March 19, 2013
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Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, March 12.

Richard St. Louis, 72, of North Dartmouth was found guilty of four counts of indecent assault and battery on a person with intellectual disabilities and single counts of indecent exposure and annoying or accosting a person of the opposite sex.

He was sentenced to five years to five years a day at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the indecent assault and battery on a person with intellectual disabilities. He was given concurrent sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the other charges.

The incidents involved a 24-year-old female and occurred in Hancock between January 1, 2008 and September 16, 2011.

He was found not guilty on single counts of indecent assault and battery on a person with intellectual disabilities and intimidation of a witness or other person. Five counts of indecent assault and battery on a disabled person who has attained age 14 and two counts of rape were dismissed by the state.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Wednesday, March 13.

Steven Gratton, 25, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to 14 counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime, four counts of malicious destruction of personal property under $250, three counts of larceny of a motor vehicle, two counts of attempting to burn a building, two counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime, two counts of attaching plates to a motor vehicle and single counts of larceny from a building, receiving stolen property under $250, receiving or possessing a stolen motor vehicle and malicious destruction of personal property over $250.

He was sentences to concurrent four to seven years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the attempting to burn a building, breaking and entering a building in the daytime, breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime, larceny of a motor vehicle, receiving or possessing a stolen motor vehicle, malicious destruction of personal property under $250 and malicious destruction of personal property over $250.

He was given concurrent time on the other charges.
 
Gratton broke into F.L. Castine Moving and Storage and Jay's Modern Bends Muffler and Auto, attempting to set fire to both companies on February 24, 2012. He also broke into numerous motor vehicles in Pittsfield and Cheshire on the same date.

A single count of burning a building was dismissed by the state.

Frank DiLorenzo III, 20, of Lanesborough pleaded guilty to three counts of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, two counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon and a single count of assault and battery.

He was sentenced to two years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on the assault and battery charge. He was placed on five years probation on the other charges.

The incident occurred in Lanesborough between Jan. 15 and Jan. 18 and involved a 19-year-old woman. A single count of kidnapping was dismissed by the state.

Phap Nguyen, 51, of Lee had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of armed assault with intent to murder and cruelty to animals.

A Lee man was arraigned this afternoon in Berkshire Superior Court on several charges.

He was released on $5,000 cash or $50,000 surety bail. Nguyen allegedly shot and injured a 30-year-old man who lived at the same address. He also allegedly shot and killed a dog belonging to the victim. The incidents allegedly occurred on December 13, 2012.

Richard Quintero, 39, of Dalton had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of rape.

He was released on personal recognizance on the condition he have no contact with the alleged victim. The incident allegedly occurred in Lanesborough on October 14, 2012 and involved a 47-year-old woman.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, March 14.

Joseph Mathews, 24, of Pittsfield had a not guilty plea entered on his behalf on a single count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense.

He was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction on $1,000 cash or surety bail. The charges stem from an incident in Pittsfield on Feb. 12.

David Rosander, 30, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of trafficking in cocaine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, illegal ownership of a firearm, possession of ammunition without a firearm identification card, improper storage of a firearm and assault and battery.

He was released on $1,500 bail. The charges stem from an incident in North Adams on Feb. 10.

Huton Hemley, 24, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to single counts of distribution of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

He was ordered to serve concurrent 15 month sentences at the Berkshire County House of Correction. Hemley sold cocaine in Pittsfield on April 20, 2009 and was in possession of cocaine with intent to sell the drug when he was arrested on June 14, 2009.

Danielle Kenyon, 50, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to five counts of armed robbery while masked.

She was ordered to be held at the Berkshire County House of Correction without the right to bail pending sentencing on March 28. Kenyon took money from the Getty Gas Station on February 5, 2012, Angelina's Sub Shop on February 18, 2012, Palmer's Variety Store on February 21, 2012 and Lipton Mart on February 25, 2012.

Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, March 15.

James Ledbetter, 27, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty to 15 counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime, four counts of malicious destruction of personal property under $250, four counts of larceny of a motor vehicle, two counts of attempting to burn a building, two counts of breaking and entering a building in the daytime, two counts of attaching plates to a motor vehicle and single counts of larceny from a building, receiving stolen property under $250, receiving or possessing a stolen motor vehicle, negligent operation of a motor vehicle and malicious destruction of personal property over $250.

He was sentenced to server concurrent five to right year state prison sentences at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the attempting to build a building, breaking and entering a building in the daytime, breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime, larceny of a motor vehicle, receiving or possessing a stolen motor vehicle, malicious destruction of personal property under $250 and malicious destruction of personal property over $250.
 
Ledbetter was given concurrent jail time on the other charges.

He broke into F.L. Castine Moving and Storage and Jay's Modern Bends Muffler and Auto, attempting to set fire to both establishments on February 24, 2012. He also broke into numerous motor vehicles in Pittsfield and Cheshire on the same date.

A single count of burning a building was dismissed by the state.



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Pittsfield Debates Control Over School Department Budget
Lenox Calling Special Town Meeting
Community Bids Farewell to MCLA's Grant & Canavan
Adams COA Loads Up 'Buckets of Sand' for Local Senior Citizens
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2014 Bazaars & Craft Fairs
Berkshire County Arc Launches 2014 Annual Campaign
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Adams Selectmen Updated on Park Street, Town Projects
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