Pittsfield Man Killed in Train Accident
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Authorities are investigating the death of a Pittsfield man who was hit and killed by a train late Tuesday afternoon.
Rodney Sumner, 54, died in the collision shortly after 4 p.m. Investigators believe Sumner was in the area observing nearby construction and was unable to get out of the path of the eastbound train.
According to reports in The Berkshire Eagle, Sumner had apparently been watching the demolition work on the Tel-Electric dam on Mill Street for most of the day. The man was apparently on the tracks above the river between South Church Street and Mill Street when a train came through and was unable to get off in time.
A statement from the Berkshire district attorney's office says investigators did not find evidence of Sumner being distracted or impaired. Pittsfield Police are investigating the death as accidental.
According to Amtrak's Twitter alert account, the Lakeshore Limited Train 448 that departed Chicago on Monday was currently east of Pittsfield "due to a trespasser incident." A following tweet stated the train would not continue on to Boston but that alternative transportation would be provided.
The $3.8 million Mill Street dam removal project began last August. The defunct am has been considered a hazard for nearly two decades.
Pittsfield Police, the district attorney's office, and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner responded to the scene. The investigation is ongoing.
Pittsfield Firefighters Douse Structure, Kitchen Fires Thursday
The first was at 6:30 a.m. at 73 McArthur St. According to Deputy Chief Daniel Garner, the Fire Department found fire in the attic and roof on arrival. E-5 crew stretched a 1 3/4-inch hand line and attacked main body of fire. E-1 crew stretched a 2-inch backup hose line. E-3 crew provided water supply and searched the building for occupants. Truck-2 ventilated the roof and salvage/overhaul. Fire was contained to the attic and roof of the single-family residence.
The building's two occupants were displaced but able to find assistance and the Red Cross will assist if needed. The roof and attic space sustained severe fire damage and there was moderate water damage throughout the building. The cause is unknown at at this time and the damage estimate is $25,000.
The second was an oven fire at 38 Grove St. at around 8 p.m. Engine 2, Engine 3, Truck 2, Engine 5, and Car 2 responded. Upon arrival, Deputy Chief Matthew Noyes said firefighters found light smoke coming from the front door of the 2 1/2-story, wood frame, two-family home.
The occupant of the first-floor apartment stated that there was a fire in the kitchen in the rear of the apartment and that everyone was out of the building. Moderate smoke was found in the kitchen as well as fire underneath and behind the gas-fired range extending onto the cabinets and range hood above.
The oven was pulled away from the wall and the fire extinguished with a 20-pound dry chemical extinguisher. Engine 3 went to the basement and found embers smoldering on the sill plate below the oven. This was extinguished with a 2 1/2-gallon water can. The gas supply to the range was shut off in the basement. The electric was also shut off to the first-floor apartment at the master disconnect to that apartment located in the basement.
Truck 2 set up positive pressure ventilation and performed overhaul of the wall behind the oven where no fire extension was found. Engine 5 staged for water supply. Car 2 also requested a fire investigator and the Red Cross responded to provide assistance to the occupants of the first-floor apartment who were displaced. The occupant of the second-floor apartment (40 Grove St.) was able to remain as there was still electrical power to the apartment and no apparent hazards.
The building suffered minor fire heat and water damage and the cause is considered accidental.
Pittsfield Man Sentenced for Domestic Assault Convictions
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Pittsfield man was sentenced Friday to the maximum jail sentence for domestic abuse after being convicted by trial.
Judge Jennifer Tyne sentenced Andrew Rossetti, 32, of Pittsfield to 2 1/2 years at the Berkshire County House of Correction on a single count of intimidation of a witness.
He will serve concurrent time on counts of assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, drug possession, threat to commit a crime, lewd wanton and lascivious conduct, and assault and battery on a household member.
Police arrested Rossetti on Sept. 5, 2019, after being reported for multiple domestic assaults and intimidation. The court ruled him to be a danger to the community and held him without bail.
A District Court jury last week found him guilty of threatening the victim. The jury found him not guilty on single counts of assault and battery on a family or household member, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault, and another count of intimidation of a witness.
He then pleaded guilty to the other charges relating to three other open cases.
Rossetti is a registered sex offender, stemming from a rape conviction in 2008, and has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2003. He has faced numerous assault charges throughout the state. Six different women had taken out abuse prevention orders on him in that span.
"My office focuses on removing dangerous people from our community. This is an individual who has a long record of violent behavior. We took a difficult case to trial and were able to secure a sentence that protects individuals, the public at large, and law enforcement, which are at an increased risk when responding to these types of calls," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
Hinsdale Man Pleads Guilty to Murdering Kassedi Clark
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The Hinsdale man responsible for the murder of Kassedi Clark pleaded guilty Monday in Berkshire Superior Court.
Michael Boulais, 34, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, reckless endangerment of a child, and improper storage of a firearm.
Judge John Agostini sentenced Boulais to serve life in prison at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction without parole on the first-degree murder charge.
Boulais shot and killed the 24-year-old Clark on April 13, 2018. Clark and Boulais had been in a relationship for nine years and had four children together. They were estranged at the time of her murder, which occurred during an argument at Boulais' Hinsdale home.
Clark attended Taconic High School and was studying to be a nurse, with an interest in becoming a midwife, according to her Facebook profile.
"I send my condolences to Kassedi's family and friends for their tragic loss," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
"This is a just outcome for yet another domestic violence homicide in our county. I thank the law enforcement personnel for their investigation into the matter and our victim witness advocates for helping the family cope with such a terrible situation."
State police units including the crime lab and investigative services, Hinsdale and Dalton Police Departments, and Berkshire County sheriff's office conducted the investigation.
Becket Man Sentenced to State Prison for Human Trafficking
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A Becket man pleaded guilty on Monday in Berkshire Superior Court to human trafficking charges.
Randy Lambach, 47, was sentenced to 10 to 12 years in state prison by Judge John Agostini on nine counts of human trafficking, seven counts of deriving support from prostitution, and single counts of intimidation of a witness, and conspiracy.
Lambach had been charged with two counts of enticing a child under the age of 16, and single counts of open and gross lewdness, and dissemination of harmful matter to a minor. Agostini ordered him to serve five years concurrently on those charges and an additional five years probation. Lambach also pled guilty to a single count of rape. Agostini ordered him to serve five to seven years in state prison, concurrently, on that charge.
In total, he will serve 10 to 12 years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction and on probation for 10 years afterward.
The conditions of probation include that Lambach register with the sex offender registry board, have no contact with any of his victims, have no contact with children under the age of 18, complete sex offender, mental health, and drug and alcohol evaluations and comply with all related treatment recommendations and guidelines. He also must comply with drug screens and not purchase, possess or consume any regulated drugs without a valid prescription.
The Berkshire District attorney's office praised the significant effort of the Pittsfield Police Department for its lengthy investigation into the trafficking operation. The charges date back to 2014 and, for years, Lambach coerced women into forced prostitution.
"Human trafficking is one of the world's fastest growing criminal activities, operating on the same scale as the illegal trade of guns and drugs, and this case demonstrates that human trafficking occurs right here in our community," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said. "My office is working with law enforcement to empower sex-trafficking victims who are often vulnerable women who are preyed upon by greedy and brutal people. We are grateful for the diligent collaboration with the Pittsfield Police Department in holding this perpetrator accountable and making our community safer for women and girls."