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The former Johnny's Beach Club on Wahconah Street in Pittsfield was hit by a pickup truck on Wednesday, severely damaging the building.

Truck Crashes Into Former Johnny's Beach Club

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A pickup truck crashed into the former Johnny’s Beach Club on Wednesday night, taking down the front of the building.

The crash into the empty building at 87 Wahconah St. occurred at about 9:50 p.m. 

Two people who were in the vehicle were taken to Berkshire Medical Center for minor injuries and the city's building inspectors were notified.

A photo posted to Facebook by a resident showed a white pickup with its front end in the building and its back end on the sidewalk.

The brick addition on the front of the building where the accident occurred was destroyed and surrounded with caution tape. It had previously been in disrepair. 

Johnny’s Beach Club has been closed for a number of years and in 2019, the owners opted to put it on the market.  The bar, which was sold to new owners in 2017, faced multiple sanctions in the past from the Licensing Board for various incidents.

In 2015, a 20-year-old man was shot in the foot at the establishment and it was forced to close at midnight.

Last month, attorney Jeffrey Lynch told the board that a plan to demolish the building to make way for a mixed-use structure was not moving forward. He said the owners were now trying to sell the liquor license. The owner is listed as 87 Wahconah St. LLC and the 1910 building and property were assessed at $176,000.

The owners were given two months to make a sale or the liquor license will be rescinded.

The accident is being investigated by Sgt. Marc Maddalena of the Traffic Division. Anyone with information is asked to call 413-448-9700.

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DA Clears Trooper in Fatal Hancock Shooting

By Brittany PolitoiBerkshires Staff

District Attorney Timothy Shugrue says the results of an autopsy by the medical examiner will not change his findings, which are based on the video and witnesses. With him are State Police Lts. Chris Bruno and Ryan Dickinson and First Assistant District Attorney Marianne Shelvey.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — District Attorney Timothy Shugrue has determined that State Police Trooper William Munch acted in compliance during what is being described as a "suicide by cop" earlier this month.
On Sept. 9, 64-year-old Phillip Henault reportedly placed a fictitious 911 call about an ongoing violent assault. Body-camera footage from the trooper shows the man advancing on him with two knives before being shot twice and collapsing in the street in front of his Richmond Road residence.
"Mr. Henault was actively using deadly force against law enforcement. There were no other objectively reasonable means that the trooper could have employed at the time in order to effectively protect himself and anyone that was in the home or the public. By virtue of his duties as a police officer, the trooper did not have the obligation to run away from Mr. Henault," Shugrue said during a press conference on Friday.
"Mr. Henault posed an active threat to the trooper and to the public. The trooper had a duty to arrest Mr. Henault who was engaged in various felonies. His arm was an active threat."
The DA determined that Munch's decision to fire his weapon at Henault under the circumstances was a "lawful and reasonable exercise of self-defense and defense of others" compliance with the policies of the State Police and commonwealth law, clearing the trooper of criminal charges and closing the investigation.
The lethal force was labeled as an "unavoidable last resort."
A preliminary autopsy determined the unofficial cause of death was two gunshot wounds to the torso with contributing factors of wounds to the wrists that were inflicted by Heneault. The final report from the medical examiner has not been issued.
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