Two Get Maximum Sentences In Domestic Violence Cases
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Two men who pleaded guilty in domestic assault cases last week were given the maximum jail sentences 2 1/2 years at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
Steven Signor, 32, of Pittsfield pleaded guilty in Central Berkshire District Court to two counts of assault and battery on a household member, two counts of violating an abuse prevention order, and single counts of assault and battery on a pregnant woman, resisting arrest, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, and vandalism.
Judge Mark Pasquariello sentenced Signor serve 2 1/2 years, the maximum allowable sentence for a single charge in District Court.
The charges relate to four separate incidents over the last year and a half. The Berkshire district attorney's office cited Signor's repeated behavior and disregard for court orders in asking for the maximum sentence. The defense argued for a one year sentence.
Jonathan Therrien, 30, of Adams pleaded guilty in Northern Berkshire District Court to assault and battery on a household member and violation of an abuse prevention order. The charges relate to an incident on Nov. 1 in Adams.
The DA's office requested the full 2 1/2-year sentence, noting a lengthy record of similar convictions in other states. The defense asked for one year. Judge Paul Vrabel sentenced Therrien to the full sentence.
"We obtained these guilty pleas thanks to comprehensive investigations by the Pittsfield and Adams police departments and are examples of how my office is working with law enforcement to prioritize violent crime. Berkshire County has the highest domestic violence rates in the state. These statistics represent real families who are living in violent homes," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a statement. "We are making every effort to prevent tragedy both to the individuals who are suffering from abuse, to local law enforcement who face risk every time they respond to domestic violence incidents, and to the public at large who face increased risk of gun violence from domestic abusers."
Adams Police Make Arrest After Armed Standoff
By Jack Guerino
ADAMS, Mass. — Police arrested a man Sunday after an armed standoff.
Police responded to a call about a domestic assault and battery in progress at a Commercial Street residence around noon Sunday. According to a press release from the Adams Police Department, upon arrival, police found a woman who had escaped from the house. She advised the officers that there was an armed man inside the home with her two children.
"She stated that he was armed with a firearm and threatened to shoot responding officers," the release stated.
Officers led the woman to safety and called the state police for backup, as well as the North Adams Police Department and the Berkshire County Special Response Team.
While backup was en route, Adams Police made contact with the man in the house via telephone. He agreed to surrender. He exited the home and was arrested without incident.
"The firearm was located and secured, and the children were located and were also deemed to be safe," according to the release.
The man was transported to the Adams Police Department. He was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail and will await arraignment at Northern Berkshire District Court to face multiple charges from this incident.
Adams Firefighters Quickly Douse Dryer Fire
By Jack Guerino iBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The Fire Department quickly snuffed out a dryer fire before it extended into a Summit Avenue home Thursday afternoon.
Firefighters responded a little after 1 p.m. to a single-family home at 13 Summit Ave. for a fire that was called in as a dryer fire and possible structure fire.
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said department was out on another call when the Summit Avenue report came in. He said the assistant chief was first on the scene.
"We showed up, there was smoke coming out of the back door and we thought it was in the structure," he said. "Manpower was an issue to start with. I was doing double duty as command and operating the truck and running supplies but we got inside quick and knocked the hell out of it."
Pansecchi said Cheshire and Clarksburg were alerted along with North Adams Fire Department. He said because they were able to control the fire so quickly they called off Clarksburg, which had been requested to cover the fire station. North Adams was on scene with its Engine 2 and Cheshire ended up covering the fire station.
Adams Ambulance was also on scene.
Pansecchi said the washer and dryer were total losses. Both were both charred and on the front lawn. He said other than that, the homeowner is just looking at some smoke and water damage.
He said dryer fires always have the potential to become overwhelming fast.
"This was seconds away from being the whole structure," he said. "Everyone did a good job and we appreciate the mutual aid."
The trucks started packing up a little after 1:30 p.m.
Authorities Make Arrest in Adams Structure Fire Incident
Authorities detour traffic at the mall entrance in Lanesborough as they take the suspect into custody.
The Adams Police Department has released more information on Tuesday's fire and suspect chase.
According to a statement released on Wednesday morning,"Based on the information provided to police from witnesses along with family and friends there was concern that the fire had been intentionally set, and that firearms had been stolen from the home."
The suspect in the incident then fled to Pittsfield where he was involved in a "domestic situation" that resulted in a lockdown of city schools and a countywide "be on the look out," or BOLO, for himself and the red Subaru he was driving.
He was sighted by a Lenox Police officer about 3:15 p.m. but when the officer attempted to stop him, he fled with the officer in pursuit. The suspect was finally arrested in Lanesborough near the northern Berkshire Mall entrance "after a brief stand-off with police."
The incident is still under investigation by multiple agencies and he is currently being held pending arraignment in district court.
The release by the Adams Police Department states it "would like to thank its officers, and the other agencies involved in the investigation of this incident."
The East Road home was in flames when firefighters arrived.
Original post on 4:31 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 23: ADAMS, Mass. — Officials are investigating a structure fire on East Road on Tuesday afternoon that destroyed a single-family home.
Authorities declined to provide more information but the scene was cordoned off as a crime scene and police were on the lookout for an individual who had reportedly fled the area in a red Subaru, according to scanner reports.
"It is an open investigation and we have a long way to go," said Adams Police Detective Michael Wandrei.
The suspect was arrested at about 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday — about two hours after the fire was reported — after leading police on a chase that ended near the Berkshire Mall.
Fire Chief John Pansecchi said the call came in at 1:21 p.m. and that there was significant smoke and fire when firefighters arrived at 151 East Road.
"What we were advised that there was smoke coming from the house and someone was trying to get the dog out," he said. "When I arrived they had heavy smoke across the whole attic area of the house and fire venting out the roof."
Mutual aid was called into Cheshire and North Adams fire departments and Clarksburg Fire Department covered the station. Adams Ambulance Service and Northern Berkshire EMS also responded.
"The guys got in there and we got it knocked it down," he said. "The guys did a great job."
Pansecchi said the owners were not in the house at the time of the fire and that when firefighters arrived, they found the dog tied outside and safe.
The fire chief alluded to the fact the fire began when no one was home as the reason for an investigation. That was being done, he said, by state fire marshal's office, himself and Adams Police.
According to an individual with knowledge of the afternoon's events, the suspect is related to the home's owners. The house is owned by Jerome Cross, according to town documents.
Pittsfield Police posted on Facebook that they were looking for Courtney Cross, 34, last seen operating a red 2017 Subaru WRX at 2 p.m. on North Street and who was wanted by Adams Police. "Witness information is that Cross is in possession of firearms," states the post, adding that no one should approach him but instead call 911. It was not clear from listening to the scanner if Cross had any firearms.
The fire marshal's office was "extremely interested in the clothing" the suspect was wearing, one scanner post stated. Officers were told over the scanner to ensure that the clothing of the individual stopped and arrested that afternoon was properly cited as evidence.
Pansecchi was awaiting the arrival of investigators from the state fire marshal's office and expected to be on the scene for some time. The owners of the home had made arrangements to stay elsewhere, he said, and did not require aid from the Red Cross.
The road was closed off for several hours.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available. ...
Adams Police Arrest Suspect in Val's, Racing Mart Break-ins
ADAMS, Mass. — Police say they have arrested a suspect in the burglaries committed at Val's Package Store and Racing Mart Gas Station early Sunday morning.
According to a statement from the Adams Police Department, officers responded to both Columbia Street businesses for what employees of the businesses reported as a breaking and entering that had occurred during the nighttime. Property was destroyed and money was stolen from both locations.
Night- and day-shift officers on Sunday, working with a detective, investigated the break-ins and arrested the suspect within hours.
The State Police Crime Scene Unit was called to assist in processing the scene, and officers also obtained video surveillance footage. Police said this footage showed a man who was known to the investigating officers conduct the breaking and entering and larceny within the business.
Officers quickly located him on Columbia Street, walking down the street carrying a television set that was stolen from a residence moments prior. He was arrested on multiple charges related to the break-ins and the active warrants already out for his arrest.
The defendant will be transported to Northern Berkshire District Court in North Adams on Monday morning for arraignment.
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