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Crash Backs Up Traffic on Pittsfield's South Street

By Dan Gigliotti
iBerkshires Correspondent
The vehicle spun and ended up on the lawn of the Veterans Memorial Park.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Traffic was backed up on South Street for about an hour on Thursday after an sport-utility vehicle crashed into a tree.

Police said a man driving a Cadillac Escalade lost control of the vehicle at about 4 p.m. when switching lanes near the Veterans Memorial and struck a tree.

The driver did not suffered any serious injuries, police said, but he was transported to Berkshire Medical Center by ambulance.

"He just lost control. He was in the left lane. Then, he went to go and pass someone in the right lane and, I don't know if he spun or what, but he just lost control and he hit the tree and the light," said Officer Mark Maddalena while surveying the scene.

"I think when he hit the tree it just spun him."

Police kept the road open while attending to the crash but traffic was backed up for about an hour.

Police did not release the name of the driver and the accident is still under investigation.

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Somerville Youth Arraigned in Alleged Camp Rape

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Somerville youth was arraigned on Thursday in Berkshire Superior Court in relation to an alleged rape during a training retreat for high school athletes.

Galileo Mondol, 17, appeared before Judge John  Agostini and had not-guilty pleas entered on his behalf for single counts of aggravated rape of a child under age 16 and indecent assault and battery on a person who has attained the age of 14; two counts of assault with intent to rape a child younger than 16; and three counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon.

He was released on $100,000 cash bail on condition he have no contact, either directly or indirectly, with any of the victims and witnesses in the case, that he not attend Somerville High School, abide by an 11 p.m. curview unless with his parents and surrender his passport to the Probation Department.

The incident allegedly occurred at Camp Lenox in Otis, where the city of Somerville had rented the facility for team-building activities for its fall sports teams. It is alleged that Mondol, a junior and soccer player at Somerville High School, entered a cabin occupied by freshman students on Sunday, Aug. 25, and assaulted three victims. Two other juveniles, age 16, are also facing charges in the attack, in which one boy was allegedly raped with a broomstick.

About 165 students from the eastern Massachusetts high school attended the training at Camp Lenox along with some 20 adults.

The investigation is being conducted by state police detectives assigned to the Berkshire district attorney's office assisted by state police detectives assigned to the Middlesex district attorney's office and the Somerville Police Department.

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Fire Destroys Unit in Pittsfield Retirement Community

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A residential unit in Salisbury Estates was heavily damaged by a two-alarm fire on Tuesday morning.

Deputy Chief Michael Polidoro said the roof blaze, which could be clearly seen from nearby streets, was called in 10:34 a.m. by a neighbor reporting smoke from the unit at 8 Baver Drive.

"On arrival, we had heavy smoke pushing out of the eaves of the building, from both ends of the gable," said Polidoro. "In the crawlspace above, we found heavy fire."

The deputy chief called in a double alarm because the potential for the fire to spread rapidly through the attic crawlspace that connects the units.

"We kept it contained to that particular unit ...  It's all wide open up there so it could have traveled the whole length," he said. "I needed the manpower and the equipment here to do that."

Firefighters on the scene searched the home to ensure it was vacant; Polidoro believed that only one person lived in the residence and that he or she had left earlier in the morning.

He roughly estimated the fire damage at $150,000 but could not say if the structure would have to be completely razed.

"There is heavy structural damage to the roof, it has a trussed roof which makes it more susceptible to fire ...  they collapse a lot quicker and it makes it very dangerous," said Polidoro.

Because of the roof damage, a upper wall was being removed to allow firefighters access to the building. "It's too dangerous to work underneath it because of the fire damage," he said. "It presented a collapse issue so it's easier to take the wall off."

At least three other units sustained smoke damage. The building and wire inspectors, as well as the department's fire investigation unit were at the scene.

Polidoro said there was no indication the blaze was suspicious, but "when no one is home [when a fire starts] we like to do a thorough investigation to determine cause."

One firefighter incurred minor injuries in what the deputy chief described as "slips, trips and falls" that happen in these situations.

Salisbury Estates is a retirement community offering independent and assisted living for adults age 55 and older, operated as a subsidiary of Berkshire Health Systems with Kimball Farms.

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Pittsfield Police Make Arrest In Late Night Stabbing

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police arrested one man Thursday morning in connection to a late night stabbing that left another man in intensive care. But Police say another suspect has not yet been identified.
Police say 40-year-old Tony "Chris" Babcock of Second Street was arrested Thursday morning for allegedly stabbing a 28-year-old man. The victim is currently in the intensive care unit at the hospital and underwent emergency surgery.
Police are still searching for another man in connection with the attack after witnesses told Police that two men were involved in the Second Street attack.
The other suspect has not been identified and police are asking anyone with information related to the case to call the detective bureau at 413-448-9705.
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Superior Court: Man Arraigned in North Adams Murder

Staff Reports
David Delratez at his rendition hearing in Bennington, Vt. He was arraigned in Berkshire Superior Court in Pittsfield on Wednesday for the murder of Ellen Depaoli.

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The man accused of murdering 84-year-old Ellen Depaoli in North Adams is being held without bail after his case was moved to Berkshire Superior Court.

David Delratez entered not-guilty pleas on single counts of murder and larceny of a motor vehicle on Wednesday.

Delratez is accused of murdering Depaoli at her home on Walker Street in North Adams on September 17, 2013 and fleeing in her car.

He was taken into custody a few days later in Bennington for violating his probation from a previous charge.

Authorities then charged him with murder and larceny of a motor vehicle and he entered not guilty pleas to those charges at an arraignment in Northern Berkshire District Court on Sept. 23.

The case is now moved to Berkshire Superior Court after a grand jury indicted him on Monday; he was arraigned again on Wednesday.

He again pleaded not guilty to the previous charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor and malicious destruction of property in connection with an incident in Clarksburg on Sept. 13, 2013 — the charges he was originally taken into custody on because it violated his probation.

Also from that Sept. 13 incident, he was charged and pleaded not guilty to a single count of use of a motor vehicle without authority.

According to police documents presented at the first arraignment, Delratez was found after police tracked down Depaoli's car in Bennington. They found a knife in the car, which police say was used in the murder.

Delratez then allegedly told police that two other men committed the crime and forced him to take the car and drive them out of town. He then says he was scared and went to stay with a friend in Bennington, according to police documents.

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Williamstown Planning Board Narrows Focus for Waubeeka Zoning Change
North Adams Sees 4% Tax Rate Hike; Average Bill Up $65
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