Friday June 1, 2012

HINSDALE -- A part-time police officer in Peru has been charged with assaulting the Hinsdale police chief, her live-in boyfriend, on Wednesday over allegations he was having an affair with her sister.

Ashley L. Gabriel, 24, has been charged by Massachusetts State Police with domestic assault and battery on Hinsdale Police Chief Christian S. Pedoty, 43, during an argument that apparently started in the chief's office on Wednesday morning.

After getting a call about a dispute involving a police officer, state police troopers responded to the Hinsdale Police Department headquarters at the town offices just before 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

When state police arrived, Gabriel and Pedoty had already left. But a town employee told state police she didn't see what happened, but heard the couple arguing in Pedoty's office, items being thrown, and the chief twice yelling "ouch."

State police later found Gabriel and Pedoty back at the Hinsdale residence they have shared since December 2011.

The house "was in disarray, with clothing and items strewn about" and glass on the floor from a broken picture frame that contained a photograph of Gabriel's sister, according to the state police report.

During an interview with Gabriel, she told police she had learned that day that Pedoty was having an affair with her sister who lives in Agawam.

Pedoty had cuts on his face, the report stated. Both Gabriel and Pedoty told police she had accidentally hit him with a stapler that she threw while enraged.

The troopers didn't believe the story.

"Pedoty's facial injuries, his cut lip and gash on the side of his nose, did not appear consistent with being accidentally struck as Gabriel reportedly threw the stapler to the ground," Trooper Corey J. Mackey wrote in his report.

Gabriel was arrested and booked by the state police before being released on personal recognizance pending an arraignment in Central Berkshire District Court.

According to the police report, Pedoty declined to seek a restraining order against Gabriel.

Pedoty is the town's first full-time police chief since 1982. A former lieutenant with the Metropolitan Transit Authority Police in New York City, he became chief in April 2011.

Hinsdale Selectman Bruce Marshall told The Eagle he didn't want to comment "until we get all our ducks in a row." Marshall went on to say that an incident did occur and that "we're still investigating it."

The Hinsdale Police Department has had a tumultuous few years.

The last police chief retired after residents voted to reorganize the department. The chief before him was sent to jail for fraud and theft charges and five of his officers were indicted.

Pedoty was recently praised at this month's town meeting for stabilizing the department.

A call to Peru Town Hall wasn't immediately returned.