North Adams Police Capture Fugitive At GunpointBy Susan Bush
12:00AM / Sunday, October 29, 2006
North Adams - A 36-year-old man believed dangerous and who was the focus of an intense police manhunt was captured at gunpoint on Oct. 28 as he tried to escape from a 147 Bracewell Avenue apartment.
Andrew Lebeau is being held at the city police station in lieu of $50,000 cash bail, said city police Sgt. James Burdick. Lebeau is charged with being a fugitive from justice and possession of marijuana. He is expected to be arraigned on the charges at the Northern Berkshire District Court on Oct. 30.
According to police, Vermont state police officers at the Shaftsbury, Vt. barracks received information on Oct. 28 that Lebeau was staying at a residence in North Adams. Vermont law enforcement officers immediately contacted city police and city police investigated the situation.
City police officers Kelly Wisnowski, Jason Wood, Anthony Beverly, and Josh Mantello and Clarksburg police Officer Christopher Gelinas discovered Lebeau was at the apartment at about 10:30 p.m., and as Lebeau tried to escape from a rear entrance, police ordered him to stop.
"He did respond to police," Burdick said. "We were obviously armed and we had our non-lethal pepperball gun with us. LeBeau was taken in by the officers."
Lebeau was the subject a southern Bennington County, Vt. search that began during the summer. Massachusetts arrest warrants for Lebeau are active and date back to 1991, Burdick said. The warrants came after Lebeau failed to appear in court on charges lodged after an incident in Cheshire in 1989.
Charges from that incident include vehicle theft, breaking and entering, larceny, and unlawful mischief. He is also believed to be a convicted sex offender who failed to register as required by law, Burdick said.
Lebeau is believed to have been hiding in the deep woods of Pownal, Vt. over the past six months, according to Vermont police. Lebeau is known as an expert outdoorsman capable of living "off the land" for extended periods of time, according to police.
Vermont authorities have notified Massachusetts authorities of plans to extradite Lebeau to that state, where he faces a warrant on a charge of possession of stolen property. Lebeau is believed to have broken into an 85 White Oaks Road, Pownal residence during September and stolen over $17,000 of items, including two firearms. Also stolen during the burglary were clothing, fishing equipment, food, electronic items, tools, and mountain bicycles.
Two Pownal general stores have been burglarized during recent weeks as well.
Tips from the public and cooperation among law enforcement agencies led to Lebeau's capture, said Vermont state police.
Police are investigating additional matters that may involve Lebeau and are contacting law enforcement officials in other states including Rhode Island and New York.