Pittsfield man arrested on drug, assault charges

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PITTSFIELD — A man with no apparent fixed address and two open arrest warrants was ordered held without bail Monday after being arrested on charges of violating a restraining order, drug possession and domestic assault and battery.

Joseph M. Girard, 37, was arrested about 10 p.m. Friday after police and first responders were dispatched to April Lane for a report of a non-fatal overdose, according to court documents.

Girard was upstairs and pushing a bed against the door in an apparent attempt to barricade himself inside, stating he was fine and neither police nor medical personnel were needed. Police were notified Girard had two open warrants for his arrest and took him into custody.

A woman in the home told police she had an active abuse prevention order against Girard, and, despite that, he had gone into "a fit of rage" a few days earlier, and threw items around the apartment, grabbed her by the wrist, leaving a bruise, and threatened her with a glass cup.

Girard told police he had used 10 bags of heroin during the evening and he then began to lose consciousness while in the cruiser. He was taken by ambulance to Berkshire Medical Center for evaluation.

A check of Girard's backpack found 30 bags of heroin, as well as paraphernalia such as a spoon and tourniquet.

Police also found apparent narcotics that could not be identified at the scene. Those will be sent out for testing, and additional charges may be pending based on the results, police said.

Girard's two warrants include one from a June 6 charge of violating an abuse prevention order after leaving a series of messages on a woman's phone and the other from a May 31 case alleging larceny, assault and battery on a family or household member and disturbing the peace.

In the latter incident, Girard allegedly ripped a cellphone out of the hands of a woman who has an active restraining order against him before fleeing the area.

He pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Monday to charges of possession of a Class A drug, assault and battery on a family or household member, violating an abuse prevention order and assault with a dangerous weapon.

Judge Michael Ripps revoked his bail for 90 days and Girard is due back in court on Aug. 2 for a pretrial hearing.

Reach staff writer Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249 or @BobDunn413 on Twitter.


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