Home About Archives RSS Feed

Escaped Inmate Taken Into Custody On Robbins Avenue

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
image description
Harry Chandler Jr. was taken into custody on Robbins Avenue.


Sheriff Thomas Bowler held a press conference Thursday evening to update the public on the capture of 33-year-old Harry Chandler Jr.
Updated: July 11, 2019, at 6:02 p.m. Completely re-written story following the press conference at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Harry Chandler Jr. was taken into custody at an apartment on Robbins Avenue Thursday, after almost exactly three days on the run.
The Berkshire County Sheriff's Office, Hampden County Sheriff's Office, Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force, and Pittsfield Police apprehended Chandler inside the apartment at 3 Robbins Ave. around 2:30 in the afternoon with no incident. Chandler had been on the run since Monday when he overpowered a Sheriff's deputy and escaped from Berkshire Medical Center.
"This puts a lot of stress on our department, our agencies, the mayor of the city of Pittsfield, the district attorney's office. It puts a lot of stress on the city of Pittsfield. Having this positive end result puts a lot of anxiety to rest and it feels good," Sheriff Thomas Bowler said at a press conference Thursday.
The 33-year-old had been arrested on July 3 on outstanding warrants for charges of breaking and entering, assaulting a police officer, drug possession, trespass, shoplifting, assault, and battery with a dangerous weapon and failing to register as a sex offender. He was briefly taken to the Berkshire County House of Corrections before being taken to the hospital that same day to treat infections in his hands.
Chandler was being released from the hospital so was uncuffed to change from medical garments into jail garments when he assaulted the corrections officer and fled the hospital. Multiple law enforcement agencies "saturated" the city around the clock for the last three days in search of him.
"I think he's exhausted. He has some physical and some medical conditions that he's dealing with and the thought that you are trying to evade 50 police officers who have saturated this city since Monday afternoon, he was tired," Bowler said, saying Chandler had peacefully gone into custody.
The agencies involved were: Pittsfield Police, Massachusetts State Police, Dalton, Lanesborough, Lee and Lenox Police, the Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force, the U.S. Marshal's Office, the New York State Police, Connecticut State Police, Millerton, and Colonie, N.Y. Police, the FBI, Massachusetts State Parole, the Hampden County Sheriff's Office, and the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office. Bowler described the response and search as a collaborative effort.
Bowler thanked those agencies, as well as the support provided by Berkshire Medical Center, the district attorney's office, and Mayor Linda Tyer. He thanked the officer who Chandler assaulted for shaking off his injuries and coming back to work the next day to help with the investigation.
He both apologized to the general public and commended the public for providing tips - as well as praised the media for sharing information with the public.
"I would like to apologize to the city of Pittsfield for this particular incident but I want to thank them and commend them for their understanding and their full support with this situation," Bowler said.
It was a tip that led to the capture, Bowler said. He said officers had known Chandler frequently visited there and knew the residents. Law Enforcement went to the address multiple times during the last three days looking for him. Eventually, he was seen there and a tip was provided to the office.
"We knew it was a location he frequented, along with several other addresses in the city of Pittsfield, so this is a particular address he had been going to but we don't believe he was there the entire time," Bowler said.
Bowler had previously hoped Chandler would turn himself in but that was not the case, though many on social media are saying that he had. 
"He did not call us. We knew he didn't have a cell phone with him. He may have had access to a cell phone through some of his known associated but he personally did not reach out to any officer," Bowler said.
The sheriff said the residents of the home were cooperative with the investigation and will not be facing any charges. Bowler isn't sure if Chandler had received any help during those three days but an investigation will be ongoing.
Bowler said Chandler had changed his appearance by cutting his hair. He will be facing additional charges related to the escape, assault and battery on a correctional officer, and possible charges could be added for assault of a nurse at the hospital.
The sheriff said the public provided a large number of tips and said every one was followed up on with some 25 to 30 officers on the case at all times during the last three days.
"You can never take anything for granted, you have to follow through. Sometimes the tips don't seem too credible but whether they are credible or not you have to do your due diligence. The tips are very vital," Bowler said.
The resolution comes at a great relief to Tyer, who said the escaped caused a lot of "anxiety" in the city.
"There was certainly some anxiety about this situation and our goal was to inform the public as much as possible as to the activities that were taking place, led by the Sheriff's Department, and I think that when the public learns of this news, there will be a great deal of relief," Tyer said.
"Our role in the city of Pittsfield was to provide the Sheriff's Department with whatever resources they needed. The Pittsfield Police Department played a significant role in this partnership with all the other law enforcement agencies to bring this to a resolution."
Chandler, originally from Dalton, had a violent criminal history and he was a trained and highly skilled Judo fighter. But he had also struggled with addiction for a number of years and was ultimately homeless. 
His family was very involved in the search when he escaped, working with the sheriff's office, posting on social media asking for him to turn himself in, and expressing genuine concern for his wellbeing.
"They wanted to see him safe and they wanted to see him get treated and get better," Bowler said.
Bowler said he will assess whether or not protocols need to be updated following the incident, but promised that if Chandler does have to go to the hospital again there will be more than one officer on him. 
Chandler is expected to be arraigned in court on Friday.


Support Local News

We show up at hurricanes, budget meetings, high school games, accidents, fires and community events. We show up at celebrations and tragedies and everything in between. We show up so our readers can learn about pivotal events that affect their communities and their lives.

How important is local news to you? You can support independent, unbiased journalism and help iBerkshires grow for as a little as the cost of a cup of coffee a week.

News Headlines
Mount Greylock District Aims to Increase Sense of Belonging for All Families
MCLA Volleyball Sweeps Salem State
Williams Volleyball Sweeps Conn College
Patrick's Pub For Sale After Almost 40 Years in Business
Search Continues for Missing Cheshire Woman
Pittsfield Ward Candidates Make Their Pitch to Voters
Two Pittsfield Seniors Recognized with Superintendents Award
Pittsfield Street Improvement Project Schedule: Oct. 18-22
Pittsfield Confirms COVID-19 Cases In Post Office
Pittsfield and Dalton Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Police Logs

Pittsfield Police

North Adams

Crimewatch Links

North Adams CrimeWatch

Stamford/Clarksburg CrimeWatch

Pittsfield CrimeWatch

Emergency: 911
Adams 413-743-1212
Clarksburg 413-663-7795
Cheshire 413-743-1501
Dalton 413-684-0300
Great Barrington 413-528-0306
Lanesborough 413-443-4107
Lee 413-243-2100
Lenox 413-637-2346
North Adams 413-664-4944
Pittsfield 413-448-9700
Richmond 413-698-3315
Stockbridge 413-298-4179
Williamstown 413-458-5733
West Stockbridge 413-232-7938
State Police  
Cheshire Barracks
Lee Barracks 413-243-0600
Shaftsbury, Vt., Barracks 802-442-3263


Adams (92)
Alford (0)
Becket (8)
Cheshire (23)
Clarksburg (41)
Dalton (6)
Egremont (2)
Florida (9)
Great Barrington (34)
Hancock (5)
Hinsdale (5)
Lanesborough (31)
Lee (14)
Lenox (11)
Monterey (0)
Mount Washington (1)
New Ashford (5)
New Marlborough (2)
North Adams (248)
Otis (2)
Peru (3)
Pittsfield (320)
Pownal (16)
Readsboro (17)
Richmond (10)
Sandisfield (5)
Savoy (6)
Sheffield (5)
Stamford (31)
State (1)
Stockbridge (6)
Tyringham (1)
Washington (1)
West Stockbridge (1)
Williamstown (80)
Windsor (3)
Search Rape Assault Fire Motorcycles Assaults Motor Vehicle Stabbing Armed Robbery Accident Structure Fire Hit & Run Robbery Fraud Break-ins Firearms Drug Charges Homicide Larceny Pedestrians Missing Persons Veremko Drugs Shooting Mvi Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident Vehicle Search & Rescue Injuries Crime Watch Burglary Murder Heroin Buglaries
Popular Entries:
Superior Court Briefs: March 1 - March 3
Superior Court Briefs: May 2 - May 6
Superior Court Briefs: March 8 - March 11
North Adams Woman Charge With Trafficking
North Adams Man Arraigned On Charges Of Animal Cruelty; Pleads Not Guilty
North Adams Urging Crime Watch
Breaking & Entering Reported in Williamstown
Woman Pleads Guilty in Sandisfield Fatal Crash
Drug Ring King Sentenced to Cedar Junction
Stolen Property Being Returned to Owners
Recent Entries:
State Police Bust $3M Illegal Pot Growing Operation in Savoy
First-Responders Searching for Lost Hiker on Mount Greylock
Pittsfield Driver Injured in Elm Street Accident
North Adams Police Investigate Possible Shooting Incident
Williamstown Police Looking into Cemetery Vandalism
Florida Woman Dies in Motorcycle Accident
Pittsfield Fire Responds to Kitchen Blaze
Juvenile Arrested in North Adams Shooting
North Adams Police Seeking Information on Shooting Incident
Pittsfield Police Seek Information on Sunday Night Shootings