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Pittsfield Police Seek Info On Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Police are seeking information on a fatal motor vehicle accident in the early hours of Sunday.
 
Police say that at about 1:30 in the morning a pedestrian was hit in the area of 457 Dalton Avenue and died because of the injuries. Police are now looking for a light colored Ford SUV with front end damage.
 
Police are not revealing the name of the individual who died until the family is notified.
 
Police say the vehicle was headed eastbound on Dalton Avenue, just east of Plastics Avenue when it struck the pedestrian. The driver then did not stop.
 
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Police Accident Investigation union at 413-448-9700.
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Nine Displaced In Pittsfield Fire

By Andy McKeever
iBerkshires Staff

Paramedics provided oxygen to two cats that firefighters had carried from the building.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Nine tenants escaped a Sunday morning fire on Kellogg Street.
 
Firefighters were dispatched for a structure fire at 11 Kellogg Street shortly after 8 a.m. The tenants in the four-family duplex along with a number of pets got out.
 
Firefighters carried two cats out of the structure, both of which received oxygen by County Ambulance before being taken to a veterinarian.
 
"On arrival, they found heavy fire on the first floor, crews advanced a couple of lines in the building. In the meantime, we were assured that everyone was out of the building," Fire Chief Robert Czerwinski said.
 
The Red Cross is being called in to find alternative housing for the nine individuals. The fire began on the first floor and that side is "pretty well gutted," according to Czerwinski. A fire investigator was called to the scene but Czerwinski doesn't believe the fire to be suspicious.
 
"We've gotten some reports that it was an accidental fire started by a tenant," Czerwinski said.
 
The chief said the fire "was pretty cut and dry" with the only challenge being a large quantity of combustible material in the structure. 
 
"The fire was knocked down pretty quickly. The deputy chief made it a double alarm which brought all on-duty crews to the scene, we called in some mutual aid companies to help out the city," Czerwinski said.
 
One firefighter received medical treatment on the scene. Czerwinski said the firefighter had been sick earlier in the week and was treated because of difficulty breathing. 
 
"It was just a little tough for him to breath in there. He felt uncomfortable so they brought him out and let him get a little rehab," Czerwinski said.
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Animal Cruelty Case Continued Without Finding

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A local man was given a continuance without a finding after killing a 10-month-old puppy.
 
Coty Dakin, 29, had entered to an admission to sufficient facts plea to a single county of animal cruelty on March 12. The case was continued without a finding for one year. Police had accused Dakin of crushing the skull of his girlfriend's 10-month old Chihuahua, Chichi, in Lanesborough in 2017.
 
Police said on Nov. 20, 2017 officers were dispatched to the girlfriend's home for a disturbance during which it was reported that Dakin had killed his girlfriend's dog. Police said Dakin was asked about the incident and he claimed he kicked a chair into the wall and accidentally killed the dog. 
 
"He explained that he had found that the dogs made a mess in the living room and he was cleaning it up when he became angry. The dogs ran and hid behind a reclining chair at which time he kicked the chair into the wall. He stated he heard one of the dogs yelp so he moved the chair away from the wall to find the dog bloody and not breathing," reads the police report.
 
However, officers sent the puppy's body to Forensic Veterinary Investigations in Boston for necrology and Dr. Martha Smith-Blackmore said the injuries did not align with that story.
 
"The constellation of injuries in this 10-month-old Chihuahua puppy are consistent with manual crushing of the skull during ineffective 'wringing' of her neck (manual dislocation of the head from the neck by applying torsional forces). In my opinion, rather than dislocating the head from the first cervical vertebra, the skull crushed and shattered under considerable manual force," the report reads.
 
"The shattering of the bone at the base of the skull pierced into the oropharynx causing the bleeding from the nose and mouth. The shattering bone at the skull compromising the inner/middle left ear cause the bleeding out of the left ear ...
 
"In my opinion, Chichi's death was accompanied by intense pain and suffering."
 
The multi-page report debunked Dakin's story and Smith-Blackmore determined that the injuries "are inconsistent with an accident crushing injury between a piece of furniture and the wall."
 
Friends reported trying to get Dakin to seek psychiatric help and witnesses who were there that day cited a few things that did not quite seem to back Dakin's story, such as a lack of blood in the supposed chair area and the number and severity of the injuries to the dog.
 
Police returned to question Dakin further about the incident and the findings but Dakin maintained his story. However, police said that between Dakin's admission of kicking the chair into the wall, admitting to having anger problems and "coming to a boiling point that day," admitting he did not want the dog in the first place, and the necropsy report,  warranted the charge.
 
The case has been going through the district court process for about a year and ultimately Judge Jennifer Tyne agreed to the continuance without a finding.
 
In a follow-up letter, the owner of the dog wrote about the pain of losing Chichi and the impact it had on her children.
 
"There's not much I could say that could describe the hurt I felt then and still do, it isn't something that can just be erased and whereas I've felt so many emotions in this matter from anger to loss, sadness, and even guilt. Still, I feel that no judgment is going to bring back what we lost, it isn't going to fix what's already been broken," she wrote.
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Connecticut Woman Injured in Readsboro Snowmobile Accident

Staff Reports
A woman injured in snowmobile accident in Readsboro is taken to Albany Medical Center on Saturday.
READSBORO, Vt. — A 34-year-old Connecticut woman was seriously injured Saturday afternoon after losing control of her snowmobile. 
 
Nicole Daulizio of Beacon Falls was taken by a LifeNet helicopter to Albany, N.Y., Medical Center after reportedly suffering from contusions, including head injuries, and possible internal bleeding.
 
State police were called to a private property on Oberdorf Road just before 4 p.m. for a report of a snowmobile crash. Acccording to a report by Trooper Benjamin Irwin of the Shaftsbury barracks, Daulizio was riding the machine when she lost control and struck a tree nose-end first. She was initially unresponsive but regained consciousness a short time later. Scanner reports indicated that she may have received CPR.
 
Northern Berkshire EMS of North Adams, Mass., responded to the accident along with Vermont first-responders. Daulizio was taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center's emergency satellite facility in North Adams to be stabilized and then flown to Albany Medical. 
 
 
The state police report does not indicate anyone else was injured in the incident but states the snowmobile appears to have been totaled.
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Reilly Pleads Guilty to Misleading Detectives In Ringer Murder Case

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — An Easthampton woman pleaded guilty on Friday to lying to state police detectives in a murder investigation.
 
Laura Reilly, 44, pleaded guilty to two counts of misleading police and was sentenced by Judge John A. Agostini in Berkshire Superior Court to two to four years at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute at Cedar Junction. The charges relate to the investigation into the alleged homicide of Joanne Ringer of Clarksburg in 2017.
 
"The judge agreed this was an egregious example of misleading police," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a statement on Friday. "We sought incarceration because Laura Reilly's lies not only stymied police in apprehending a murder suspect, they also had a devastating and lasting effect on Joanne Ringer's family and friends."
 
Ringer was reported missing in March 2017. Police identified Ringer's husband, Charles Reidy as a suspect, believing he had killed her. Police found Ringer's car abandoned in Easthampton a few days after she had been reported missing.
 
Reilly, an ex-girlfriend of Reidy, lied to police about being in contact with Reidy in the days surrounding Ringer's disappearance. Police later determined those statements were misleading and "wasted important time in the state police investigation," according to the district attorney's office.
 
In April, Reidy committed suicide. Ringer's body was not found until February 2018 in Hatfield. An autopsy could not confirm the cause of death because more than a year had passed since she went missing.
 
"If Laura Reilly told the truth about driving Reidy home on the day he reported Ringer missing and spending time with him the day after, police could have questioned Reidy about the killing prior to him committing suicide," Harrington said. "I offer my condolences to Ms. Ringer's loved ones, and we hope that this plea and sentence gives them some measure of comfort."
 
The district attorney's office recommended three to four years in prison. First Assistant District Attorney Karen Bell argued the case, calling Reidy's misleading statements "specific, intentional, purposeful, and calculated."
 
"The defendant's conduct and lies were specific, intentional, purposeful and calculated," Bell said in a statement. "At the time that the defendant spoke to the police, she was fully aware of the nature of the investigation. Intentionally misleading the police cuts at the core of our criminal justice system and threatens public safety."
 
Agostini concurred with the district attorney's office. 
 
"The public was really the victim in this case," Agostini said, referencing the long search for Ringer and the extensive news coverage it produced. "It was not just police that were misled. It was all of us."
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