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Pittsfield Police on Hunt for Mysterious 'G' Vandal

Staff Reports

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Who or what is "G?"

An initial? A symbol for the number 7? An agent of the Men in Black? No one knows, but the random letter tag has been popping up around the city.

Police say the majority of the vandalism has not been directly reported, but the appearance of this graffiti on road signs, utility boxes, and both public and private buildings, has been noted by patrolling officers and members of the public for more than a month now.  

The investigation to date has not shown the graffiti to be associated with any known national or local gangs, and no one has provided video surveillance to the department.

The tagging appears to be random and perpetrated by one individual. The tags also aren't hard to find - it took only a few minutes to track down a G image for this article.

Police would really like to speak with the mysterious G, so anyone with information on the vandalism can contact the department through the "Report a Tip" link. 

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State Police Bomb Squad Deactivate Pressurized Bottles in Adams

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff

ADAMS, Mass. — The state police bomb squad was called to Airport Road on Thursday morning to investigate a cluster of pressurized bottles containing an unknown liquid.

Police Chief Richard Tarsa said police responded to the scene around 7:30 a.m. after a truck ran over one of the plastic bottles causing it to burst, making a loud sound.

Tarsa said the bottles were scattered in the road and contained some sort of chemical that caused them to pressurize, similar to a bottle of soda.

"We had a bottle that was pressurized and a vehicle drove over it and it erupted, which sounded like an explosion but was just the eruption of the device," the chief said. "It was not an explosive device. This is not an IED by any means. It's a sealed water bottle with a chemical in it that creates pressure."

Although there was no damage to the car or driver, Tarsa said the road was closed and Fire Department and the state police bomb squad were called to investigate.

There were three other bottles on the road. One was defective but the other two were live.

"The bomb squad came out and they used the robotic arm," he said. "It grabs the bottle and the arm is designed to depressurize the bottle by putting a hole in it and making it inactive."

The first bottle was successfully depressurized, however, the second had built up enough pressure that when the arm touched it, it burst.

Tarsa said the police are unsure who set the bottles and the incident is under investigation. He added that whoever placed the bottles set up an incredibly dangerous situation for themselves and those passing through the area.

"This is a stupid thing to do because whoever made these devices there was the ability for the bottles to go off in their hands and with chemicals, you are looking at chemical burns," Tarsa said. "And being in a roadway that is a place where a lot of people walk their dogs ... what happens if a dog latches on to it?"

Tarsa said the bottles were somewhat isolated on the rural road and in the end, everything was handled according to protocol, and there were no damages or injuries.

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Williamstown Woman Charged in Hit-And-Run Accident

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — A 34-year-old Williamstown woman has been charged in an apparent hit-and-run accident on Cold Spring Road on Oct. 1, police announced on Wednesday.

Shannon Dandurand will answer in Northern Berkshire District Court to charges of leaving the scene of a personal injury accident and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, police said.
"We wish to thank the public once again for the help, as it was the sharing of the original post that led to Ms. Dandurand contacting us about the incident," according to the news release posted on Facebook Wednesday morning.
Wendy McCarthy, 51, of Cold Spring Road suffered serious, non-life threatening injuries to the right side of her body in the Saturday night incident, according to a police report shortly after the accident.
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Clarksburg, North Adams Team Up to Save House

By Jack Guerino
iBerkshires Staff

CLARKSBURG, Mass. — A single-family home was saved Tuesday night by a joint effort of the Clarksburg and North Adams fire departments.

The departments were able to quickly snuff out the structure fire at 72 Farview Heights Road, near the border between the two communities.

Clarksburg Fire Chief Carlyle "Chipper" Chesbro Jr. said the call initially went to North Adams, which was the first to respond to Tuesday night at 8.

"North Adams did a great job getting up here and knocking it down for us," Chesbro said. "Then we came in with our engine and tanker and assisted."

North Adams Fire Director Stephen Meranti said he was first on the scene and was quickly able to find the source of the fire in the garage.

"We had smoke coming out of the first-floor front door," he said. "We pulled in a hand line and attacked the fire in the basement while we had a second line on the first floor. At that point, Clarksburg arrived and they stretched a backup line."

Chesbro said Clarksburg came on the scene with a tanker because there was not an available hydrant.

Meranti said they were able to knock down the fire immediately before it caused serious damage.

"It was knocked down within minutes upon our arrival but the house was still full of smoke so you couldn't see your hand in front of your face," he said.

Chesbro said the family was out of the house when firefighters arrived and were able to provide information immediately.

Although there is no serious structural damage, he said the family was advised to stay somewhere else for the time being.

There was some concern about the family's pet cat that escaped the blaze but was nowhere to be seen, but North Adams firefighter Alan Richer was able to find it.

Chesbro said the cause of the fire is under investigation but it did not look suspicious.

Meranti said North Adams Ambulance and Police as well as Clarksburg Police responded.

"It was good team work by everybody, and everyone worked well together," Meranti said. "It is a good example of two departments working together."

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Superior Court Briefs: Sept. 30 - Oct. 6

Staff Reports
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Friday, September 30.
Aaron Tarjick, 40, of Windsor pleaded guilty to 25 counts of larceny over $250, 13 counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle in the nighttime, nine counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime, seven counts of unarmed burglary, three counts of larceny of a firearm, two counts of larceny under $250, and a single count of larceny of a motor vehicle.
The charges stem from a series of housebreaks in Berkshire County between October 22, 2010 and November 13, 2012.
He was ordered to serve 15 to 17 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction on the breaking and entering and burglary charges. He was given concurrent time on the firearm and larceny charges.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Tuesday, October 4.
Jay Strezynski, 26, of Lee pleaded guilty to a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws, to wit: distribution of marijuana. 
He was ordered to serve six months at the Berkshire County House of Correction, suspended for one-year. Strezynski conspired with others to sell marijuana on January 25, 2016.
Kayla Malloy, 29, of North Adams had not guilty pleas entered on her behalf on single counts of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate drug laws.
The charges were in connection with a motor vehicle stop in North Adams on June 27, 2016. She was released on $250 bail. 
Ishmael Lytle, 27, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of assault and battery on a disabled person, and caretaker abuse on a disabled person.
He was released on personal recognizance. Lytle is accused of assaulting a student while he worked at Eagleton School on February 20, 2013.
Cases heard before Judge John Agostini on Thursday, October 6.
Dante Spratling, 31, of Pittsfield had not guilty pleas entered on his behalf on single counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute - his second offense - and possession of a Class C substance.
He was released on $500 cash bail. The charges stem from the execution of a search warrant at a Daniels Avenue apartment on August 9, 2016.
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