Mantello Found Guilty in Prisoner Assault

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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A former North Adams police officer has been sentenced to six months behind bars after being found guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Monday afternoon of several charges relating to the assault of a prisoner.

Joshua N. Mantello, 30, was ordered to serve six months of a two-year sentence at the Berkshire County House of Correction by Judge John A. Agostini for misleading a police officer in the assault of Matthew D. Trombley last year.

He also was found guilty of two counts of assault and battery and one count of filing a false report. However, the judge found him not guilty of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (stun gun).

Trombley, then 28, was reportedly intoxicated and combative on Nov. 28, 2008, when North Adams police officers picked him up at a North Church Street apartment house, where he had been banging on doors. Mantello was accused of using excessive force at the police lockup in trying to control Trombley, including choking and Tasering him, and filing a false report to cover it up.

Mantello was fired in March and charges filed against Trombley were dropped.

He waived his right to a jury trial, instead leaving it to Agostini to determine his fate. The trial began Nov. 18; those testifying included Police Director Michael Cozzaglio, Trombley and Mantello.

Agostini also sentenced him to two years' probation on the assault and battery charge and a year's suspended jail sentence for filing a false report.

Mantello was ordered begin his jail sentence on Friday, Dec. 4.
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